Does this sound familiar? How often do we ask each other these questions back and forth...and do we really listen for the answer? Or do we just take it for granted that the person says what they mean..."I'm fine, thank you."...but what if they said, "I'm not doing so well. I really need to talk to someone." Do we stop what we are doing and listen? Or perhaps they don't come right out and say it that obviously. Maybe they simply say, "I'm okay", but with a tone that doesn't quite match up to the statement. Do we prod any further into their private thoughts? Do we ask what's wrong? Do we care?
I am guilty of not taking things a step further. I often rush on about my business and don't let it sink in that the person may not really be "okay". This past week everyone was crushed by the tragic suicide of Robin Williams. Even though I was not a particular fan, I was still saddened by his death. Saddened that the very people who make us laugh are often the ones crying on the inside, and we are not aware. I won't belabor the subject of R.W. any further as much has been said about him all week long in the news, tabloids, everywhere we look.
I will only say that we need to pay closer attention to what people are really saying to us by their
- non-verbal communications
- Don't be so quick to dismiss someone just because they say they are "Okay".
- Take time to listen to what might be said between the lines
- Don't judge others who may be suffering because they don't live life according to your particular standards. You really don't know the whole story, do you?
- Don't be so quick to think just because you live right that you won't ever have to endure hardships.
- Trials come to all of us sooner or later.