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When Someone Needs An Ear

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on January 16, 2020 15:09

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You never know when the opportunity to affect someone's life will happen. Are you ready?

You've probably seen the posts on social media about "the light is always on and the coffee is always ready," encouraging those who might be struggling to reach out to someone. Ironically, the place that gives the biggest illusions of happiness is the place people encourage strangers to reach out.

The truth is that it is sometimes hard to reach out to those you know because we have to fight our own ego, pride, image. I know there have been times over the years with my divorce and custody battle that it was easier to vent to a stranger rather than my closest friends. 

I don't think I'm alone in this tendency.

As a writer, I find myself talking to a wide array of people from clients, subject matter experts, and sources. Most days are filled with me digging deeper and asking one more question to find the greatest insights I can for the content I write. It's just part of my norm and I don't think much about it. 

Then I got a message from a source I had spoken with a couple days earlier - someone I've never met other than to get a couple of insightful quotes from via messenger. She was inquiring about my other work and wanted to see it. My first instinct was that she simply wanted validation that I was writing for a reputable outlet and didn't have a habit of making sources look bad. So I sent her links to my work.

It was then that she inquired about a touchy topic and whether I had written on that previously. I hadn't, but I could tell she was searching for an answer to something that was on her mind. I must have been a wild hope to have an answer for her. We messaged back and forth, me offering my empathy for a tough situation and giving what my best life experience advice could muster. 

It wasn't a long interaction, nor a deeply revealing one though she did thank me for the opportunity to vent. All I could reply was that we have to live in this world to lift each other up. Sometimes that comes from strange places. Sometimes you don't know that someone you've never met will need you to be an open ear, without judgment, and take a few minutes of their day to simply listen. 

I was glad I could be that ear and it made me remember the kind people who have been my ear over the years. We all have the ability to positively impact strangers and that is pretty cool.  

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on January 16, 2020 15:09

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