When You’re Stuck in a Hole, Look for Someone to Join You: A Lesson in Empathy


Happy Thanksgiving to all, and not just those in the U.S.! Thankfulness is available no matter where you live. Hopefully pie is available where you live, too.

Here’s a story for anyone wandering in the wilderness—or in this case, anyone stuck in a hole:

A man is walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.

A doctor passes by and the man shouts up, “Hey you! Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.

Then a priest comes along and the man shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole. Can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.

Then a friend walks by. “Hey, it’s me,” the man calls out. “Can you help?” And then the friend jumps in the hole.

The man says, “Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.”

The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before … and I know the way out.”

Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, and sometimes we need a companion who’s fought the battle before.

Are you stuck in a hole? Hang tough! Can you help someone who’s stuck? Jump in and join them.


-From The West Wing with hat tip to Peter Shankman

-Image by Simone

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