As a reminder....
If you meet someone who expresses their desire to make a positive change, it's your job to encourage them. It doesn't need to be much. You can just be there to listen, to be a cheerleader, to give tips and hints, or even go for a walk/jog with them. But the new rule is "Leave No One Behind." If they choose to confide in you, you're now a part of their successes and failures. They took the first step, now show them they're not alone.The thing is this -- and I know you will all have your own story to tell about this (please do!!) -- is that at some point in our lives, someone noticed the dangerous path we were headed down, and did nothing to stop us. Let me rephrase: there was all a time when we needed help and guidance and someone failed us. Sure, they might not have thought it was their duty, but I don't care about duty. I'm talking about compassion.
I wonder what my life might have been like had my gym teacher in second grade said "Hey, I know you're having a hard time running the mile run. I'm going to run with you for a little bit and teach you how to run so you don't have trouble breathing" instead of saying "hurry up, everyone is waiting for you!"
What kind of body would I have now if, back when my grandmother died, my parents actually talked to me about what I witnessed (yep, I was in the room when she expired) instead of letting me express my sadness and confusion through eating? The same goes for when my mom died: What would my life be like now if my father hadn't overwhelmed us/me with his own grief and allowed me to have my own? What if he he had insisted we all go to a family therapist and talk about our pain and grief. What if someone had noticed his floundering and stepped in and said "Hey, do you need someone to talk to about parenting stuff?"
I know I can't go back and fix what happened in the past. I can reach back into my memories and change the focus of the lens to be more understanding, but that's about it. However, what I can do is honor that little kid who needed help by helping other people who might be in the same position. Granted not everyone wants the help. They need to be receptive of it. But my background makes me willing to help just about anyone who asks for the help. Why? Because I know how hard it is to (1) need help and (2) ask for it.
So this is what I'm going to leave you with -- not a challenge or a question, but a humble request that you do a favor for 7-year old me and maybe a favor for the person you were who needed help, and gently help someone towards a healthier, and happier life.
((and I think this is why I'm still so mad about the nurse -- there are so many people who have the ability to actually help people who are unhealthy (obese, overweight, anorexic, bulimic, etc.) and just choose not to because of their own prejudices. Thank goodness there are people more than willing and more than dedicated to take on this task.))