Privilege, good fortune, and health can shelter us from experiencing the levels of sickness, pain, and loss that cause a person to lose hope.
When people tell their stories of woe, we may have tuned out after a while because our minds cannot conceive of a scenario where life could actually be that difficult.
We tell ourselves reasons why that person is going through so much pain. We interpret the discrepancy between their reality and ours.
And yet . . . we can be grateful for our blessings without denying or deflecting the devastation and loss others encounter.
Even more, we need to choose to listen. To hear people in their pain and their loss and sit with them so they are not alone.
Job’s friends would have been better friends if they’d just sat with him and stayed quiet. Ultimately, we delegitimize people’s experiences when we act like we know what they need to do.