How Our Difficult Times Help Us Empathize with Others
I heard a great story the other day, and I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s a really powerful message. If you have ever had any challenge or difficulty in your life, (and let’s face it, most of us have had some sort of tough situation at some point), I am a firm believer that these difficulties are there for a reason.
In this story, there is a little boy who goes into a pet store to ask the owner, “Are you selling any puppies?” The owner looked down at this little boy and replied, “Yes we are. They’re $50.” So, the little boy thinks for a minute, then says, “Well, I only have $2.37. Can I see your puppies?” The owner knew the boy couldn’t afford a puppy, but thought this situation was awfully cute, so he and his assistant went back to bring the puppies out for the little boy.
There are nine of these puppies, and all of them are adorable and playful, but there’s one puppy in the back that wasn’t walking very well, and he was lagging behind all the other puppies. This puppy caught the eye of the little boy, so the boy asked, “Why is that puppy walking funny?”
The store owner explained that when this puppy was born, it didn’t have a good hip so it will always limp, and have trouble getting around. So, the boy said, “Oh, I have to buy that puppy!” The store owner shook his head and said, “No, no. I’ll just give you the puppy.”
The little boy was adamant. “I don’t want you to give it to me. That little puppy is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs, so I will pay full price. I’ll give you the $2.37 and then I’ll pay 50 cents a month until I pay it off.”
The store owner frowned, believing that the puppy was the wrong choice for a little boy. “But this puppy will not run and play like the other ones. Maybe should get one of the other puppies instead.”
The boy lifted up his pant leg to reveal his own crippled leg, wrapped in a brace. He said, “Well, I don’t run so well myself, so the little puppy will need someone who understands.”
This story really made me think about our lives and my firm belief that we are put on this Earth together to help each other. Some of us have experienced tragedies and challenges that have affected us and changed the way we view ourselves and others. Like I said at the beginning, I believe that these things happen for a reason, and I think most often, the reason this challenge was given to us is so that we can empathize with others who are experiencing something similar and help make a difference in their lives.
This is how we build a true sense of community with one another because a community is more than a bunch of houses, it’s a group of people going through life together.
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