What’s the perfect way to help?
September 13, 2018

garden for the blogThe woman I told you about in my last post, who was struggling -- not much, just a little -- with something at work, was really gracious about my offer to help. “I am curious about what you have to say,” she wrote in part.

The thing was, I had no idea.

My plan wasn’t to dispense wisdom. It was to listen. It was possible I’d have something to offer, but I never count my chickens.

Think of the best advice you’ve ever gotten. I’d lay odds it came from you! Someone was likely sitting across the table or the room from you, encouraging you to talk more -- to get it all out. And suddenly, because you felt safe, you said it out loud. What you already knew, but were afraid to admit.

You can’t exchange a solution for a problem the way you give the street vendor five bucks for a panini. That’s why conversation is sacred. You meander this way and that, linger on the pauses, and relish the expressiveness on someone’s face just before she realizes what she’s always known. It isn’t a transaction. It’s a dance. The dividends are endless if you’re willing to engage.