Some of you may say that you don’t ride in a wheel chair so this does not apply to you. Well, maybe it does if the wheel chair can be a representation of one’s handicap or lack of ability. Such a handicap is for you to recognize as you read the following story.
A few years ago I witnessed a man running over a young child’s toes while riding through a narrow hallway on his electric wheel chair. The child appeared to be happy and excited as he ran towards the man. What a delightful picture. However, as the child got closer to the man that picture turned dim when the boy began to scream as if in great pain.
The man had accidently run over the little guy’s toes. And, what happened next really grieved me.
The man reacted to the screaming by yelling something like, “You don’t need to get so close to this chair! I couldn’t see you coming or I would have stopped! From now on you need to run towards the front of the chair and let me know you’re coming!”
The little guy was not comforted at all by the man’s explanation or instructions. He was hurting and crying!
What the boy needed was to be comforted, first. “Are you okay? Show me where it hurts! I’m so sorry! Come here and let me kiss it and make it better.”
This story can be a reminder that people do not know how much you know until they know how much you care. Once the little boy feels cared for he will then be able to hear the explanation and instruction but not before. There is an order…first things first.
We all hurt others unintentionally. That’s because we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads, so to speak. So, the main thing to remember is to care first. Explain and instruct only after you have dealt with the pain inflicted from running over toes.
For instance, your spouse screams at you about an insensitive remark you made at a holiday party, in front of all your friends. To care first means you would say something like, “I am sorry that hurt you. I would never intentionally do something that would bring you pain. What can I do to make it better?”
At this point the one screaming is ready to forgive and allow you to make things better. After which you can offer an explanation as well and if need be an instruction. Warning! Do not do that first!
People just need to know they are cared for and this is a season when people are out trying to make others happy by buying and giving nice things. The best thing one can give however, is love wrapped up with caring.