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it hurts when you hurt

February 9, 2015

Crying childClose your eyes for me and imagine you are with a group of people in a confined space – on a plane, a train, a bus or in a doctor’s waiting room.  Feel yourself in that space, feel your body being in that space with those people and know that you are going to be there with them for the next few hours.

Then notice that just across the way is a couple with their baby who, stirring from sleep, starts to cry. Feel yourself in that new space, feel your body being in that space now with that baby. Watch yourself and others as the cry becomes wailing and the couple’s attempts to sooth the baby fail. Can you feel the screaming reverberating around the room as the volume increases?

How does your body feel now?

What about after another hour of being stuck in that space with that incessant crying?

For many people just imagining that situation is enough to create a feeling of distress, frustration or anger. I doubt there is anyone who would argue the real situation does not create real feelings of distress, frustration or anger in a large majority of the people who find themselves there.

And that is not surprising because from the day you were born your survival depended on two things:

1. Your ability to communicate with other people without using words, and
2. Their ability to understand you without needing words.

If that wasn’t the case you would not have made it to your first birthday. If it doesn’t remain the case now you will not make it to your next birthday.

It hurts when you hurt and we hurt when you hurt. We don’t need words to know.

***

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