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How Do We Reach the People Who Need Our Help?

November 21, 2013

I have always had this burning desire to change the world. Whenever I experience suffering I immediately want to reach out to others in order to use that suffering as a Great Teacher in the hope that others either don’t have to experience that same suffering or, in the very least, that they too can use their suffering as compost. All compost begins life as a shitty mess, stinking to high heaven and threatening the very air that we breathe.

Compost also grows the most glorious flowers with scents that ease our senses.

The best compost is the smelliest. The smell comes from many different sources that all serve as food. The more sources, the wider the variety – the more nutrient enriched the compost. It stands to reason, then, that the more we suffer the stronger we grow. Yes, this truth is pretty hard to swallow but it must be said.

Following the suffering and immediately after the awakening (how can we not wake up when we are being repeatedly slapped across the face?), it is time then to share our learning with the world. I know that some of my warmest and most connected moments have come in the aftermath of a period of crisis and especially when I have read someone else’s story that resonated with mine.

This blog is my story.

I am reaching out to you in just one way. There are many others. I hope that this way helps you to feel connected, loved and tells you in no uncertain terms – that you are not alone.

What about those who are offline? What about the people who suffer such isolation that no amount of blogging, twittering, facebooking or websiting can reach them? Not everyone is online and I know myself from recent catastrophic financial events that not everyone can afford to be online. I currently use my free thirty minutes at my local library to keep myself connected. You need an address and identification to use this resource. These are practical issues that need our consideration – how do we reach the people who need our help when they are not online? After all, the online community is not necessarily ‘real world’ no matter how helpful this cyber friend can be.

The other day I was leaving the library after my online session and saw a young girl, around twenty, crying in a doorway with her mobile phone in her hand. She was staring into the phone with the occasional glance around. Her chin was wobbling and she clearly looked distressed. For a moment I felt like an invader into her pain and initially walked on by. Then my intuition kicked in and I thought ‘Invader or not, she needs a hug’. So I went back to ask her if she was okay.

“My Gran just died’ She said as she fell into her tears.

“Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry” I said as I flung my arms around her and told her to have a good cry.

I still felt like I was pushing my ways upon her which turned out to be ridiculous as she clearly felt comfortable with this complete stranger standing with her in a doorway holding her.

We all need to be held.

What I am saying to you (and to myself) is this – building your online profile is great. You need to do this for business reasons and also, of course, to reach out to people in need. At some point, though, we need to get out there – in the world – and touch real people. A cyber hug would have been of little benefit to the young girl in the doorway. A real hug, from a real guy who knows suffering – will, hopefully, stay with her for years to come.

Compassion is sometimes like a slap across the face, this wakes us up. Compassion is sometimes like a warm hug on a cold night, this reminds us – that we are not alone.

Just something for us both to ponder on.

Until Next Time,

Matt Chase xx

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