I encountered a woman on the subway this afternoon who was begging for food.  She was very pregnant and carrying a small backpack.  She started her speech in a very small voice, apologizing for intruding on our subway ride, and then asked very quietly for any food or money that could be spared.  Almost every woman on this train car handed her money.  I offered her my metrocard.  When I handed her my card, she was dumbfounded.  She said she couldn’t accept it, as if it was too much.  As if I handed her a large sum of money.

She thanked me profusely and left the train.  I saw on her face the fatigue from fighting her battles with life.  It seriously brought me to tears, as I was reminded of how brutal life can be.  In the midst of the fight you can feel pretty diminished as a person, and that you don’t have value or deserve good things, but you do…and they will return to you, if you just persist.  

This woman was persisting.  I wished that I had just opened myself a little more to talk to her about her baby and to look her in the eye and tell her that she was going to be ok, that there was no shame in asking for help.  She needed to hear that.  We all need to hear that from each other.  Encouraging each other and reaching out to support each other, no matter what the circumstances can be so healing.

How are you going to support someone who has been knocked down?  How do you reach out for support when its your own battle?

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