A parable on how to be a friend.

best friends

Here is a parable that helps answer this question.

One day a man was walking down a road. The road opens up from under him and he falls into this big hole. He tries everything he can think of to get out but to no avail. He yells out help, help, help. A lawyer comes by and see’s this young man in the hole. The lawyer says I am going to find out who made this road and I will bring justice to you and off he goes. This did not help the young man get out of the hole he was in. The next person is a psychiatrist. He looks down the hole and see’s that the young man is depressed and anxious. The Psychiatrist write’s him a prescription and off he goes. The young man would not need the prescription if he was out of this hole he was in. This did not help. Next, his good friend comes by and without a thought jumps into the hole with the young man. The young man is flabbergasted and say’s “now we are both stuck!”. His friend without batting an eye say’s “Oh no I have fallen in this hole before I know the way out” and his friend leads him out of the hole.

The best way of being of service in helping someone is to make sure they want help. Then do your best to understand what they are going through. Put yourself in their shoes and empathize.  If we assume what the person needs without talking with them and acting blindly then we are of no use. We usually can not pick someone out of the hole they are in but often we help them find a variety of possibilities that may work. Ultimately, it is the person who is in the hole who has to get out themselves. However, being supportive is key.

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About stuartcline

I have been a therapist for over 15 years, and certified life coach for over 2. I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Art Therapist, and a Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor. I believe the world is a better place when people are inspired and have hope. Positive people lead happy lives. My hope is that my blog stuartcline.com will offer those who read it an uplifting thought or a tool to give their life even more quality. I believe our best thinking has given us the results we now have and if we want another outcome then we need new information. I offer new information. I believe in you and the positive choices that you are making. Do what feels right and stop doing what does not. My hope is that our good deeds will ripple out into the world and leave it a little better then it was before. My goal is to make it easier for people to smile. Smiling matters. It leaves the world a little brighter and our hearts a little lighter. My hope is that smiling will be so common and contagious that we may all need to wear sunglasses, because the light created from the smiles is blinding. With kindness, Stuart
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2 Responses to A parable on how to be a friend.

  1. Scott Tuning says:

    This story speaks a great deal about the assumptions that we make. The lawyer assumed that his friend in the hole would like to litigate. Likewise, the psychiatrist assumed that this man would like a prescription. In reality, the subject of the story only wanted a way out of a hole! An amazing book called, “The Four Agreements,” talks about the dangers of these kinds of assumptions. Assuming that somone needs something, or even that they want help, can lead to heartache. Minimizing our assumptions and directing our efforts to people that want our help (and that we can truly help) is a great way to reduce the number of assumptions we make and increase the quality of our interactions!

    • stuartcline says:

      Well said Scott. The four agreements is a good book and one to consider reading for those who have not. The key is to minimize our assumptions as you so well addressed, look at the fact’s and live in the moment. Keep up the great work Scott and thank you for the comments. Feel free to keep them coming. My best, Stuart

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