Dr. Ken Larsen
I recently saw a post on Facebook suggesting an unpopular response to the senseless acts of violence that punch their way into our world. The clamor of “someone should do something”, can be turned into “what can I do?”
When we see someone alone and friendless, what can we do to reach out with kindness and compassion? Neil Diamond’s lament seems relevant to the loneliness and isolation experienced by so many in our world today.
“I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair.
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can’t even say why
Leavin’ me lonely still.” *
I think many of us can recognize the emptiness expressed in these words because we’ve felt it ourselves. I know I have. Finding our way to mental health and happiness is enhanced when we find a way to reach out to the other when we see this loneliness. This requires us to look at the misery in our fellow humans rather than look away. And then, once seen, we can respond with something as simple as a smile, a kind word…anything that gives the other the gift and experience of being seen with kindness rather than indifference.