Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Just Listening Can Really Help


--by sirlancalot, posted Mar 26, 2009

Have you ever felt so down and out that you don't think you can help others? How amazing is it when you end up helping anyway.

In the army, we have to take what is called a "P.T." test every six months to test our physical endurance. It's in three sections: push-ups, sit-ups, and a two-mile run. After the test it is business as usual. On the day I took it, I failed miserably and felt really down about it. I was so hard on myself that morning that I didn't want to eat or talk to anyone, I just wanted to go back to my room and sulk. Funny how things never work and it's amazing how when we are at our lowest, we can still be a conduit for good karma.

As I was approaching my room another soldier was leaving to go participate in the regular P.T training (practice for the test). I was tired and emotionally drained from failing the test, but still asked as I passed him how his morning was going. Instead of the generic "ok and yours" he replied, "Not good at all, actually very bad." So I stopped and asked where was he going and told him I'm going there too (which I wasn't).  

As we walked toward the gym he told me that his best friend in the entire world had died the night before in a car accident. I listened to him on the entire walk and offered some words of encouragement but not much.  I think he just wanted someone to listen. So I did. and at the end of the conversation, I thought to myself, good karma was still visible even in the midst of my sulking.

Please pray for the soldier and for his friend's family. I have to keep reminding myself that even when its raining here, there's a hurricane somewhere else. Keep your eye open for those in need of a stronger umbrella.

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Readers Comments

smiletoday wrote: :) touching. Sometimes all we need to do is listen. Glad you were there for him!
Twink wrote: I loved this story and it highlights what i know as a military mom. My son might have left my home, but he has found new family in his military buddies. Sir l - - your asking and his opening up, allowed him to share his burden. I always think to myself when i encounter a rude driver, or a distracted cashier. Who knows what their burdens are. Bless you!
wayfarer wrote: Well done, Sirlancalot! You were the right heart in the right place at the right time!
lmil1954 wrote: Sirlancalot-I echo wayfarer's comment. I also want to be brave and say here that so many times the only response I have wanted to "how you doin" is a "how you doin" back. You have opened my heart to listen to the responses i get in the future. Thank you for that! You were truly a good heart just by giving your ear! god bless you-Love, linda:)

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