How My Struggles Help Me Show Others They Matter

From a very young age, I knew I wanted to help people. My own very dark moments in life have given me a deep-rooted sense of empathy and sympathy for people.

That’s why I became a paralegal. I’ve been there; so I wanted to comfort and assist anyone struggling to keep their head above water. I want to save those who are sinking and are desperate for a breath of fresh air.

I see people like this every day—people who are teetering on the edge. The physical pain associated with an automobile accident, a messy divorce with children, sitting in jail, getting evicted, or handling the estate of a deceased loved one. It’s an awful feeling to be alone and depressed during such difficult times.

I handle all the calls from clients, attorneys, the court, and law enforcement. I work tirelessly to resolve situations that have turned a person’s world upside down. But I’ve found that sometimes, what helps people the most is taking the time to stop and listen to  their stories.

I will never forget working on a domestic case in which our law firm represented the husband. It was extremely time-consuming. Our client stopped by the office to drop off more of those endless documents. He seemed a bit scattered and unsure about the next step. He talked about the stress of his case and the toll it was taking on him. He was struggling financially and his job was almost non-existent. He seemed overwhelmed, and I sensed that he needed a listening ear.

It was a nice day, and he was parked out front. We walked outside, sat on the tailgate of his truck, and completed all the documents. While doing so, we talked about life, and he left in a much better mood. I even saw him smile. It may not sound like much, but I believe that just a bit of normal, everyday conversation was just what that man needed. 

It’s conversations like that one that remind me that the people who come into the office are human beings, not a case number. I care. I want to hear what is bothering them today, whether it is about their case or life in general. I want to make them smile and laugh, even if it only lasts for the duration of our conversation. I am here for them. I want to help. I yearn to help. I want to tell them everything will be okay.

But there are times when it is not okay. And I know that. There are those who are sobbing and depressed because glass is still coming out of their faces from a car accident.  There are those preparing to end their life because they can’t bear the pain. There are those afraid to face life so they run away. There are those passing away in a hospital bed because they couldn’t stop drinking. That’s the sort of desperation I deal with every day.

Love didn’t reach some of them in time to soothe the pain. That’s why I go out of my way to make sure that I share love with them when I can. I want them to know that they matter and that there is hope for their struggles.

We all have different careers and roles to play. What I’ve learned is that no matter what we do, we can all find ways to touch other people’s lives. But I think what helps people the most sometimes isn’t technically in my job description. It’s taking—or making—opportunities to show others that I care.

The love I pour into my career seems to make bad situations a little better. If you have love and hope, make it contagious in your daily life. Look for those moments to make an impact on someone else’s life. You never know the difference you might make.

Sonya

Sonya is an Army veteran who was born and raised in Maryland. She now works as a contract paralegal from home so she can share every precious moment with her daughter.Sonya believes in love because her daughter is God's firefly and her dog is an angel; both sent from heaven above.
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