Wednesday, 14. October 2009

In the last few days I’ve had contacts with people whose lives are falling apart, contact with people whose lives are always challenging, contact with people who are facing the spectre of death. In the past I usually would have had something glib to say but increasingly I find myself speechless, only able to listen rather than suggest anything, overwhelmed sometimes by the sheer weight and complexity of what others are going through and in the final end simply impressed by the courage shown by so many in different ways, also the resourcefulness, persistence and humanity.

I long to tell these people that I respect and admire how they are in facing their lives – far more than I would if they were blustering through with phony optimism. But it seems that there is a kind of guilt in the air, that people feel slightly ashamed for not being at their best, that they would rather not be showing their “negative” feelings, that they long for it all to be over and soon… Which is reasonable.

Only when it isn’t over soon, believe me, I really really don’t mind anyone going over their honest feelings time and time again. It doesn’t bug me in the slightest that someone is or feels they are less than perfect. In fact I feel honoured that they would trust me by telling the truth. It’s like a spark of humanity in a world full of lies…

I did tell someone today that admired his courage and he replied: “I haven’t got any other choice, have I?” Completely without self pity. How magnificent.

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