My wife is in India working on a focus group project . Yesterday, she relayed this story. She was in a small room monitoring the discussion of some young moms and how the facilitator interacted with them. While she couldn’t understand what was being spoken, she certainly could read the body language and the emotion being poured out. A young mom (about 20) was telling her story. She was a child bride (married at age 12). She had her first child at age 13 and the next at 14. Her husband was an abusive alcoholic who would often beat her. One day, he pushed her off the second floor and crushed one of her legs. She now walks with great difficulty. When the session was over, she came over to my wife and uncontrollably sobbed and clung to her. Between her sobs, she kept telling my wife something that she couldn’t understand. After a long time, she finally composed herself and left. Through a translator, my wife found out that the young woman was thanking her for caring enough to listen. For all these years, she thought that she was nothing and that nobody would listen or care to hear anything she had to say. Through her tears, she was thanking my wife for traveling thousands of miles to hear her and that maybe her life did matter. After years of abuse and hardship, she felt that someone finally cared about “her”.
As we prepare for our upcoming trip to Haiti, we cannot overlook the impact that even our smallest actions might have on others. Something as simple as listening could have a much greater impact than we would normally expect and it might just be the something that brings hope and happiness to someone else.
“ Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water--- it will make ripples throughout the entire pond”
Jessy and Bryan Matteo