* Love is the Bridge for Understanding – and Action

human compassionDiana over at Talk to Diana wrote a moving post today that has stayed with me. “He Deserves Better Than This” is about her father who has been in chronic back pain for years and has not received treatment to alleviate it. Diana decided that enough was enough and made several calls until she spoke to an administrator in the health service.

Diana’s intention was clear. “They know his medical history, but I wanted to tell them about the man who is my dad, who worked hard all his life, who deserves better than this; who deserves to live his last years with some enjoyment and quality of life.”

Sometimes we let ourselves think that others have our best interests in mind… And we suffer in silence. It is up to us to ensure that they understand what our needs are and support us in getting them met. (Having a caring daughter as an advocate also helps!)

So, how do we make ourselves be seen, heard and understood?

Having a good argument doesn’t cut it. Bringing all the facts to the discussion won’t either. Getting angry could also backfire.

I believe that in Diana’s case, her  passion and love for her father touched the goodness inside a fellow human being. The administrator wanted to help and she did. He gets treatment on friday. Yeah!

Love is the bridge for understanding. It moves us from being “one of them” in the eyes of an other to become “us” in our common humanity and caring.


Here’s an other story that touched me deeply. Daniel Gottlieb is a family therapist, psychologist and award winning radio host. Thiry years ago he survived a traumatic car accident. He is paralyzed from the neck down and gets around in a special wheelchair.

In his book The Wisdom We’re Born With he shares a personal story. While staying at a hotel on business, the manager approached him and said “I hope you are enjoying your stay” As it turned out there had been several hurdles that he had had to overcome in order to find a room that was easily accessible and comfortable. He asked to meet with the manager the next day to go on a guided tour with him. The manager seemed sincerely interested.

Gottlieb then asked the manager “Who do you love most in the world?” The manager quickly responded “My daughter.”
Gottlieb then said “Okay, could you do this before we meet tomorrow morning? Imagine your daughter is visiting your hotel…. and she is in a wheelchair.”

They did meet the next morning but there really was no need, the manager had already seen the obstacles and hurdles. He was eager for more input from Gottlieb so that he could make it right.

When we reach out with love, we touch the innate love and compassion in others. We come together in our common humanity and caring. We hear each other and understand. We are all connected by love.

And then we know what is to be done.


33 thoughts on “* Love is the Bridge for Understanding – and Action

    • Thank you Nancy! On reflection there is more than love here. There is the ability to become vulnerable in asking for help, and to be assertive to asking for what we need. All valuable qualities that compliment a foundation of love.


  1. Wonderful sentiments Val, and truly very practical as you demonstrate in the article. My own experience in getting adequate care for my parents at the end of their lives necessitated not only that which you advocate, but also a relentless capacity for battling systems and opaque legislation that make the whole simply too daunting for many. Sad to say, goodwill and a true moral compass, here in England at least, need to go hand-in-hand with a preparedness for a certain amount of confrontation with authority, although even there too one can engage with love and compassion to great effect. H ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for this perspective Hariod. When facing a system that isn’t fully functioning or meeting the needs of the elderly, perseverance, assertiveness, patience and vulnerability are required as well as love and compassion. Perhaps we could call it feisty love xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Love is the Bridge | Learning from Dogs

  3. Love is undoubtedly a bridge!
    Your anecdotes are very well made. Can’t but think of our family doctor’s advice to ask all consultants what THEY would do if the person was THEIR mother/father? That was the best advice I got stopped so many consultants in their tracks. Amazingly, many said that they had never been asked that before!

    Liked by 1 person

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