April 9, 2010

A Recurrent Word Might Matter

My question is: How do you know, if what you say to the other, has any effect on them? How do you know that it even matters?
Regardless how much you try, it seems like you're talking to a wall because nothing changes. The same issues arise and the same reactions are given. Then you talk to them again, hoping that maybe this time they will hear. Doesn't seem like it. Again.
Year after year it continues and eventually you're thinking of giving up. But there's no way for you to know what other person is thinking or feeling about what you've been saying over the years. Maybe a word or two got deposited, consciously or unconsciously, somewhere.
At some point, their guard may fall down, and you see that so many things you've said have been considered and thought about. But you also realize that the reason for you not seeing it was because of other's fear and pain. It's hard to see yourself flawed. It's hard to recognize that you've been hurting others, including the dearest ones.
All you can do is to express yourself to others. It's none of your concern how it'll be utilized and whether it will be at all. At some point, a word or many recurrent conversations may take a person from one level to the next.


  1. There's a parable in the Bible that talks about something similar to what you are saying. In my current line of work, I am trying to reach out to teenagers and help find direction. My coworkers and I constantly try to help, give advice, try new approaches, and show that we care. Being "typical teenagers", they put up a wall and don't seem to let anything we say penetrate this fortress they have built.

    Once, I explained this to someone about how exhausting this was trying and trying to make a difference without seeing any result. Their response was this...

    Everybody has a hand in the growth and development of each other just as all parts of nature have a hand in the growth of a tree. A seed is planted and nourished by the nutrients in the soil. Water hydrates the plant and encourages it to grow. Eventually, the sun will help the plant produce food and grow even more. I try to think of myself as a single part of this process...I may not directly see the person grow but at least I helped and its up to other people to continue what I started.

    On the other hand, I get discouraged quite often because there are some people that never seem to change and as hopeful as I can be they aren't showing any promise of changing after our paths no longer cross.

  2. M.V., I think the paragraph of playing a role in development was very precise. I liked it a lot.
    I've worked with troubled teenagers myself and it made me feel discouraged when I saw no change after my careful lengthy contribution. Only later the results started to show, some small, some big.
    But at times we see nothing and it feels terrible. Like you're wasting your precious energy and time on someone who isn't affected (explicitly), even after a long time.
    That's why I concluded in the end, that it isn't our business to concern ourselves with someone's choices for growth. The decision to help is the most important. We can always decide otherwise. But if we don't, let us make our contribution without stressing about the result.
    Gives me an idea for another post :-) Thanks.



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