Is it essential for us to speak in order to communicate? What is really at the heart of communication?
Here is a rather amazing story of a special relationship that I found at Katie Freiling a well-known internet marketer. As she rightly says; “When you have empathy and understanding for those in your life, your relationships will blossom.”
The story tells us a great deal about communicating with empathy. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below.
A Special Relationship
He had dedicated his life to enlightenment, so he lived alone up on a mountain top and meditated all day long.
Occasionally, he would come down from the mountain into the valley to gather food and visit his relatives. One day, while down in the valley, his sister came up to him completely distraught. She was full of anger, anxiety, and sadness over her teenage boy.
Her adolescent son was a big trouble maker. He was getting into trouble at school, lashing out at his family, and engaging in self-destructive behavior. No one in the family could get through to him and he was causing the whole family to suffer.
The sage was asked by his sister to come and talk to him. Since he was known for his ‘enlightened consciousness’ and compassion, she figured he was the only one who could help.
So the sage agreed and came to live with his sister for a while. He ate with them, helped with the household chores, and did just about everything BUT talk to the young boy. He ended up staying there for two weeks just observing the dynamics of the household.
Two Weeks Later
After two whole weeks, his sister became frustrated.“Why haven’t you had a talk with my son yet?” she asked.
The sage simply answered that there was nothing to say.
The boy was also confused. He knew that his uncle was asked to visit in order to talk with him about his behavior.
But the sage felt it was time to go, so he went back into his room to get his shoes. As he was sitting on the edge of his bed tying his shoelaces, the boy came and sat down in front of him.
The boy stared at his uncle for a few moments waiting for some kind of response. The sage looked up from tying his shoes with tears streaming down his face. He just looked into the boys eyes with love, not saying a word. The emotion was so intense, that the boy started crying, too.
The sage cried for the pain he felt the young boy was going through. He physically felt the feelings of being lost, disconnected and unloved. The boy wasn’t misbehaving just to be malicious. He was acting out because he was in pain.
Staring speechlessly into the teary eyes of his uncle, the boy felt understood for the first time in his life. He knew the sage wasn’t crying because of his bad behavior… He was empathizing with his own suffering. And for a moment, they both felt the same pain.
From that point on, the boy changed. The unconditional love and compassion that he felt from the sage changed his life. The sage not only helped the boy more than anyone thought possible, but he also helped the rest of the family.
He taught them what true empathy really was…