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Friday, May 12, 2017

When a Friend, Acquaintance, or Loved One Falls

If you've fallen, you know how difficult that can be.

Falling, even when small, hurts.

When someone you knows falls, it hurts too.

The hurt is particularly painful if the fall is unjust or accidental.

The fall can be troubling if you offered warning and words of advice--if you actually told the person of the threat or potential harm.

But, in life, we all fall.

It starts with those early falls when you are learning to walk, and grows as we age.

As an elementary school teacher, a large part of of our job is to help students learn from those small "falls" such as words misspoken, troubling small acts, and more. We use these child "failures" as opportunities to teach so that later on when the potential for hurt and harm is greater, children can better navigate their choices.

Falls will happen, however, and sometimes those falls will be difficult to understand. Often there's no one person at fault, but many acts, like dominoes, that create a chain reaction and result in a troubling situation.

As I've noted before to self and others, it's best to speak up when troubles are small as speaking up and acting when wrongs are small prevent greater harm and hurt later on.

The recent Penn State fraternity tragedy is a good example of this. Just think if one of those young men had the courage to leave the house and call 911, a life would be saved and so many other lives without the weight of this great tragedy.

Yet, falls will happen, and when they do, we do well to offer our greatest compassion, empathy, care, and help--falls can and will happen to all of us. Yes, we need to work to prevent those falls by staying attuned, doing what's right, and relying on one another for consult and help when difficult situations arise, but in the end when tragedy strikes if we're there for one another, we will do well.

I hate even writing this because, like all, I don't look forward to a fall, but in light of a fall that an acquaintance is facing, I want to be mindful of this issue. Onward.