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When Will We Care Enough?

Last week 18 people were killed in an act of terrorism in the state of Maine. This was another senseless act of violence that should have been prevented. The murderer, who later killed himself, had a history of troubles that were known, even by law enforcement. However, the obvious signs were not enough for someone to insist this man be isolated to prevent danger to himself and others.

It is not enough for us to continue to invest in ourselves and ignore those around us. We must become more intentional and deliberate about caring, showing concern, and empathy. People around us are hurting, broken, discouraged, depressed, and hopeless. Recently, a father called me and asked me to speak to his daughter because she was suicidal. Over the last few weeks I have spoken to her, helped her deal with her discouragement, and for this moment saved her life.

It is easy to come to our places of employment, do our duty, then leave. We don't have to invade the privacy of others and disrespect privacy and boundaries. We do need to ask people this very personal question, "How are you feeling today?" Not everyone will answer this question honestly, but it does not hurt to ask. We must begin to let others know we genuinely and sincerely care about their wellbeing. If I were asked about my day, I would honestly tell you everything that provoked or encouraged me. I want relief from my burdens and expect people I love and trust to bear them with me.

This world continues to get colder and people are more distant. We are less social, less intimate, more consumed with our own lives, and give little care to others. It is so bad that people who live in the same home do not know what is going on because they are either to proud or too insecure to have conversations of real intimacy and depth. People all around us are hurting. We must care more about finding them help or comfort during moments of distress. If we do not see the signs, perhaps we are not looking deeply enough.

Let's begin to open the portals that lead to transparency, accountability, and authenticity in our relationships. We must do more than talk about the weather, sports, politics, and the price of fuel. We must become people of thoughtful intervention who understand how to talk to others and communicate truth without deliberate offense. People must hear care from our hearts and know truth, no matter how painful, does not negate love. In fact, to tell someone the truth is the greatest display of love. Truth spoken in love heals brokenness, binds wounds, and builds self-esteem.

I encourage each of you to become a consolate of care. You may be the only hope a person has to turn away from desperation or death. Death is not always physical. It can be emotional, mental, or spiritual. No one should want to be part of the walking dead.

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