Be gentle

Sheila O’Malley, a blogger whose insight I aspire to reaching maybe ten percent one day, posted the following to Facebook earlier, and she gave me permission to reproduce it here.

I came home from the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert last night (out at Nassau Coliseum) and it was about 1 in the morning when I got home. It’s been a bit of a blue time for me personally, and then of course the tragedy in Connecticut has just been devastating for all of us. A horrible week. It was fun to go out and see this ridiculous over-the-top show, and when I got home I was a bit wired. I sat in bed reading 11/22/63 for a while (wow wow wow). And at one point, I heard a woman – either in my apartment building – or maybe in the house next door – sobbing. She was sobbing as if her heart was broken. It went on and on and it was the most heart-rending sound. I ached for her, whoever she was. Whatever she was dealing with was too hard to bear at 1:30, 2 in the morning. I understand that. There were times when she would quiet down, and I hoped she was passing out from exhaustion, to just get a little rest. 40 minutes would pass, and then the sobbing would start up again. There were times when the sound was so real and so painful that I felt tears welling up too. I was sending her vibes of at least peace and rest … everything looks at least more bearable in the morning. But, as F. Scott Fitzgerald so perfectly wrote: “In a dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning.” I am thinking about that woman today. I wonder if anyone has ever heard me sobbing and had the same reaction. I felt like I was protecting her, hovering over her, during that hour or so that I was listening to her. I know that sounds dumb, but that’s what it felt like. Anyway, I am thinking about her this morning. We all have our private pains. Be kind to one another. Be gentle. Assume that people are doing their best. The holidays are a tough time for many people as it is. Be gentle.

I absolutely believe that we need to have several discussions about public policy in this country, with regard to both guns and mental health care. But we also need to remember how to heal our societal wounds when things like this happen.

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2 Responses to Be gentle

  1. LJB says:

    Kindness rocks. Pass it on.

  2. Jason says:

    Good insight indeed. Thanks for sharing it…

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