Touch a Heart

Alison - Bedford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Do you remember kindergarten where some kid would push another down and nobody would do anything because they didn’t know much about empathy and love? Well, this is the time to learn it. I believe in spreading the love and using empathy as an everyday quality.

It was a chilly night, and I had awoken from being overheated by my layer of shirts and blankets. I was not feeling well at all. I rushed to the bathroom because my nausea was taking over me. My mom ran in as well, and stayed with me in the bathroom. Luckily, my nausea didn’t completely take over me because it went away. A bit later though, the feeling came back, and my mom rushed with me to the bathroom again. It was the same routine; she would open the lid of the toilet, and hold my hair back. Again, nothing happened, yet we stayed in there just in case something did.

Later, in my room, I just felt completely awful. I wasn’t nauseous anymore; I just had a really bad stomach ache. I told my mom that she could go back to sleep, but she said that she wanted to stay with me until I felt better. This made feel so grateful to have such a caring mom, and I knew that she was exhausted because who wouldn’t be at 2:30 in the morning? But still she stayed up for me. For ME. It was the greatest feeling in the world to know that she really cared about me and my well being so much. She gave me advice like, “sit up, because your stomach hurts less when you do” and “Relax” and she would comfort me with these soothing words, and rub my back. The usual mom thing. This wasn’t the first time she had done this for me though. It was just the first time that I had really appreciated what she had done for me.

Seeing my mom master this quality, I thought, why not master it myself. It makes the person in the situation feel comforted and important. I believe in putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. I use this quality a lot more now, knowing the affect that it has on people, and what it’s like to be in some sort of situation. I think of it this way; when your heart is swollen, they’re the icepack to ease the pain; the band aid to protect your cut. You can feel the empathy they have towards you.

This quality especially works with friends, because you know them and want them to feel like you care abut them, because you do. For example, my best friend and I have been friends since kindergarten, and we always hang out. We both use the quality probably every time we’re together. There was a time when she was over at my house and she told me that she had a massive headache, and the second she told me, I raced up the stairs, and pulled out all of painkillers from every cabinet that I could find. I ran back down with them, and asked which one she preferred. When she told me Advil, I quickly poured out two gel tablets and handed them to her. I knew that she had a ‘thing’ with swallowing pills, so I handed her some water to take with it as well. She also doesn’t like people watching her swallow pills, so I went out of the room so she could take them. She took the Advil and a while later, she felt much better. It’s always a great feeling when and after you help someone. She thanked me for getting it for her, and then I realized that if I keep doing little things like this for other people, maybe it will catch on. Or maybe it won’t… I really don’t know the outcome, but I do know one thing.

I know that if you approach each situation with love and empathy for others, then people will definitely appreciate the comfort and attention that you gave them. So next time you see someone in a situation, think about it. Should I help this kid on the playground? Would I want someone else to help me if I was the kid on the playground? Let the person know that you care. Reach out and touch their heart, and maybe the next time you’re in a situation, they’ll touch yours. This I believe.