Please, tell me you understand
Listening is a very powerful tool, it requires us to take others’ worries on face value and work with them to find a solution, without prejudice or an agenda. We have all received comfort from a good listener, whether they are a member of family, a close friend, a church leader, a medical professional or indeed, a Good Samaritan. Though these people have many and varied admirable traits they have one thing in common: they stand out as a force of compassion, tolerance and human kindness in a very ruthless world.

Their concern is often referred to as ‘random kindness’, thankfully this community will know there is nothing ‘random’ about it. They are often driven by selflessness, determined to care for others, irrespective of their own worries. A lovely example was cited in the news just last week.

To help her mother with a cancer battle, a young girl placed a bid for a second-hand Nutribullet on an online site. Hearing of the daughter’s cause, the London based owner bought a brand new Nutribullet for her to collect in store in Belfast. When the daughter thanked the man he simply said “thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it, I will pray for your mother”. One can only imagine the comfort, strength and sense of pride that the daughter gained as a result of this kindness.

We can safely say that listening makes others feel understood, it validates their feelings which in turn can inspire fresh hope and peace of mind. Mind and Soul very admirably seeks to find the link between mental health and faith. Perhaps it needn’t look as far as it thinks. By facilitating sessions featuring professional knowledge for people with ill mental health, the charity can give peace of mind to some of the most distressed individuals in our society. I am not sure it is possible to quantify the benefits here, however if history is anything to go by, we can expect this compassion to make a lasting change.

I have copied below the prayer that most inspires me and I hope it will give encouragement to other Mind and Soul supporters, Make me an Instrument:

“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

“O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”
 
Georgia Berry, 30/11/2015