Learning to whisper, “me too.”

Last week I posted a very raw expression of what it’s like to live with celiac disease.  The response has been incredible.  Many people said they cried when they read it because it was like hearing their own heart poured out.  Others said they were printing it out to show friends and family so they might be more understanding.

I started thinking about why this post got such a huge response compared to every other blog post I’ve written.  Then it hit me, those who responded could hear themselves in the story.  I was telling their story.  As they read my words, they were shouting, “ME TOO!”

And I think this is where there can be a disconnect as we read stories of children and moms and orphans and widows in faraway lands.  We’ve never been there, we’ve never lived through extreme poverty, we’ve never faced these kinds of hard realities.  For most of us, there is no “ME TOO!” when it comes to this kind of human suffering.

Learning to whisper, "me too." - InspiredRD.com and The Idea Camp

And so, it takes work to get to that place of empathy.  It takes energy to step outside of our bubble and step into another’s shoes for a moment.  It takes a conscious effort to close our eyes, picture our babies crying for food, desperate for clean water, aching for a fair chance at life.

But if we take the time to sit still and immerse our emotions into the story, we can start to whisper, “me too.”  I am a mom too.  I want the best for my children too.  I want my kids to have a good education too.  Me too.

Learning to whisper, "me too." - InspiredRD.com and The Idea Camp

And as we get to that place, when we let ourselves step into the world outside our comfy bubble, we can’t help but find hope.  Beauty in the mess, hope in the hurt, light in the darkness.  And we can’t help but step into the story, to become a part of putting smiles on faces, of doing the good work of human care.  We can’t help but whisper, “me too.”  

Learning to whisper, "me too." - InspiredRD.com and The Idea Camp

{This post was inspired by The Idea Camp.  I’m hoping very much to be able to attend the Idea Camp community in September to become both a better teller of stories, and also a better listener.  I encourage you to check out the Idea Camp for yourself.  You can do so here.}


*Photos taken by David Molnar on our trip to Ethiopia with Food for the Hungry.  FH is a partner of The Idea Camp*

  • Ashley May 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Such a beautiful post. You are so right in recognizing the disconnect. I recently “adopted” two little girls through World Vision and am so excited to learn more about their lives and their daily stories. You are an inspiration to understand and listen and be able to say “me too.” Thank you!

  • Alisa May 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    So true, Alysa! Focusing on what we have in common leads us to be more empathetic in the things that are different. Sometimes I like to rewrite Bible stories with what I would have done if I were character X, and it really helps me be more honest with myself…. to feel empathy for people that are reliving out those stories today.