by Debbie Hall
excerpted from This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, 2006
Presence is a noun, not a verb; it is a state of being, not doing.
States of being are not highly valued in a culture that places a high priority on doing. Yet, true presence or ‘being with’ another person carries with it a silent power – to bear witness to a passage, to help carry an emotional burden, or to begin a healing process.
I have not hesitated to be in the presence of others for whom I could ‘do’ nothing.
I am still pulled by the need to do more than be, yet repeatedly struck by the healing power of connection created by being fully there in the quiet understanding of another.
I believe in the power of presence, and it is not only something we give to others. It always changes me – and always for the better.
–Debbie Hall, excerpted from
This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, 2006
Take a moment to consider:
- How does this apply to labor support?
- To counseling skills?
- To parenting?
- To marriage and friendship?