Two things you should never say

By Eddy Montilla

Hey, hey. Hold on for a second. Don’t expect me to tell them these things so quickly. Listen at least what happened first. It’s Friday, early in the evening, and I am in Japan, in a cafeteria having my customary cup of coffee after work. Suddenly, a girl who was sitting with her back to me, started to feel sick. She grimaced with pain while other customers looked at her as if they were watching a movie at home: Nobody moved. Nobody acted. Maybe they failed to realize how serious the situation was, I don’t know…. but at this very minute someone said one of the two things you should never say when someone is in need:

     I AM SORRY FOR…Listen, no matter how well-intentioned you are, expressions of sympathy like I am sorry, poor little thing, etc. are just that: Expressions, meaningless words to keep up appearances. Will people who lost their belongings in New Orleans after Katrina or those who lost their relatives in Haiti after the earthquake be better just because someone says sorry? No way!! And please don’t misunderstand me. To feel sorry and say sorry are completely different. If you feel sorry for someone, you take actions, but if we just say sorry and go away, my friend, our words border on hypocrisy.

     A couple of employees came, called an ambulance and you can figure out the rest. I offered my seat, so that she could lie down. (I wrote this because it can give you a better picture of the situation, so do not take me for either a Pharisee or a hero). Then, the second thing you should not say in this situation came up:

     I WISH I COULD HELP, BUT THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO: Really? In all circumstances, there is always something we can do in order to help. If that girl were a close relative, you can take it for granted that the person who said this would find immediately something to do. So indifference explains everything. An indifference to the needs of others.

     Have you noticed that we live in a rectangular society? Take a look at around you and will see that almost everything has a rectangular shape: tables, books, the living room, etc. However, our lives are circular, that is, what happened here, will happen there some day. So they will be connected as a circle, and that includes, of course, misfortunes. Then, we should help when this moment comes instead of saying vain words. This is the moral I learned today, very simple, but instructive. And now, I will finish my cup of coffee.

Copyright 2010 by All rights reserved.


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