In someone else’s shoes

Sometimes I leave the office, full of thoughts in my head about how I’m going to juggle several projects, manage downwards and upwards and so forth.
Then I go somewhere else, and see what real problems are like. And all the little nagging thoughts I’ve been having about my own life leave my head, as I realise how small they are compared to the trials that other people are facing.
Today, I felt really sad for someone. My first, instinctive reaction was to offer a scientific, psychological explanation as to why things turned out that way and how it can be improved. (I blame this on the way I have to think, at work)
But what was needed at the time was emotional support, and so I held my tongue. Sometimes people just want a listening ear and prayers, because there’s nothing much else we can do.
Having had to reach out to others in more dire straits than me tonight made me think as well about how I’ve withdrawn myself from volunteer work over the years. How I’ve felt it was a strain on me and that I needed to get my own house in order before offering to tidy up others’. It’s got to a point where I’ve simply stopped coming forward to help.
Then I see how other people give themselves selflessly to a cause, and marvel at the inner strength they seem to have. I see little miracles of selflessness at my office every day and thank God for providing inspiration. I wonder if I will ever reach that level.
At least tonight I will remember to be grateful for what I have and the relatively small problems I face.