When I was much younger, I was a Natural Helper.
I mean, we even had high school meetings on the ability to discern real emotions within our peers, in and out of school. We were taught to find the relationship between what was troubling a student and a possible solution to end their woes. We learned that in life, as many of you already know, nothing is certain except change. We also learned that whenever we feel alone, we only have to look around to see the millions of other folks feeling the exact same way.
We are never alone.
To be honest, and years later as a tough-minded (but fair) Navy Chief, I’ve come to know the significance of those moments of sharing tears with 25 of my closest teenage friends. We were taught that our feelings, which often trick us into thinking we’re less than who we really are, were created to allow our souls some breathing room during the toughest or happiest portions of our lives. Tears, both the good and bad ones, give way to the necessary closure than many of us never get a chance to tackle in life. Often, tears give a bit of flexibility in our way in handling a situation; but more often than none, we learn to take those tears as powerful tools that give us the motivation and strength just move through the experience.
So, as a Natural Helper we were taught to see issues as they are. We were taught to empathize and appreciate that sometimes in life, things tend to shatter and our responsibility isn’t entirely in the act of acknowledgment, but rather the process of moving forward afterwards with a positive implementation of change. We were not taught to be psychics, psychologists, or counselors, but quite the opposite.
We were taught to simply be human.