The Flashlight

Helping Professionals To Use Story to Transform Communities

The Flashlight

Push Thumb Switch Pocket Flashlight On White Background
Push Thumb Switch Pocket Flashlight On White Background

Turn it on!
Image courtesy of artist Keerati on

A lot of us have discovered a brand new way of being.

We feel freer and lighter. Our lives work more smoothly. Things seem to just happen, when before, we had to work hard.

And we just won’t shut up about it.

“OMG! You’ve got to read this great book by Deepak! And did you see that movie, The Corporation? There’s this group of people meeting who talk about this stuff and I really want you to go!”

Did you see all those exclamation points?

This brand-new joy just has to be shared. The people we love just have to feel what we feel and maybe it will help fix them!

Hold on there, Tim.

Your positive platitudes aren’t helpful. Words tend to clutter issues. And truthfully, if you’re just starting this walk, you don’t really get it yet.

What is helpful is your living example. Tell your story; don’t share your judgment.

Think about how many times you’ve heard a great story that moved you and inspired you to think what could be possible, like Rev. Sheila’s. (You can get a copy of her book here.)

Your story works because people see themselves in it. Positive speak doesn’t work because it presents wide, abstract truths without any personal relevance. It’s judgy and preachy. It’s too much.

So anytime you want to share the good life with someone, be compassionate and be like a flashlight in a cave.

If you’ve been trapped in a cave all of your adult life, and someone burst in, pointing a floodlight in your eyes, saying, “I’m here to save you!”, would you be grateful?

Not with your eyes burning. Not when the cave protected you to this point.

What if you tap the person on the shoulder and say, “Hey! I used this flashlight to see some new things in the cave. Want to join me?”

The person can, in his own time, adjust his eyes to the light, and decide to follow you.

Or not.

Have compassion for yourself and for those you want to help. Don’t turn off your light, but don’t blind them either.

What do you think? Share your testimony here, or tell us about your own light experience in our comments.