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Rabbi Elliot Kukla1 once described a woman with a brain injury who would sometimes fall to the floor. People around her would rush to immediately get her back on her feet, before she was quite ready. She told Kukla,

I think people rush to help me up because they are so uncomfortable with seeing an adult lying on the floor. But what I really need is for someone to get down on the ground with me.

A reminder to me for the next time I see someone in physical or emotional distress. Rather than acting on impulse driven primarily by what makes me feel better, pause to consider what will make them feel most comfortable, then do it.


1 Elliot Kukla is the first openly transgender person to be ordained by the Reform Jewish seminary Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.