I am pretty sure that I broke my toe today. My four year old kicked a plastic storage bin down the stairs and it landed on my foot. I yelled a little louder than my toddler expected and he started to cry.
My husband had to work late, so I was left with the daunting task of preparing dinner and putting the kids to bed alone. After dinner, I got the chance to sit down for a few minutes and rest my foot. My toddler, Nicholas, repeatedly took my slipper off to look at my toe. Each time he took it off he started to sob. I put the slipper on and he would stop. He cried so much that I had to hug him.
Initially, I found his response endearing and funny. I thought it really isn’t a big deal … I mean it will probably heal in a week or so.
But then his response caused me to reflect on the last time that I really wept with someone who was in pain? Or allowed myself to really take on their emotions. Even for a “little thing”.
I think that sometimes things may seem little to me, but they may actually be a big thing to someone else.
It was a good reminder to me that to show empathy we don’t have to really do anything but be present and feel what others are feeling. Weep with those who weep. So the next time I see someone experiencing a “little thing,” I think I”ll take the time to be present with them and let them know that I care for them.
Thank you Nicholas, for the lesson.