Who Needs You to be a Knight Today
I have heard enough stories in my nearly three decades talking with people about their deepest concerns and most treasured goals to know that every one of us has someone in our lives who could use a knight today. I know that sounds a little bit like a Hallmark card, but I don’t mean it that way. I mean it this way: People posture. People hold up shields to convince others how strong they are and that all is well. Sometimes, the shields are inside them, deployed to convince themselves that they can power through anything and everything, without any help. That’s sometimes because they never got the help they needed in the past.
If you take two minutes right now to think about someone—a friend or family member or colleague—who would welcome a visit from a knight, I bet you’ll be able to think of somebody. After all, America faces a pandemic with massive financial implications. We face deeper questions about our democracy than at any time in my life. And those issues don’t supersede others that have always been the ones that make the societal ones recede from the fronts of our minds—loss of loved ones and illnesses other than Covid, just to name a few.Notice I didn’t use the term “knight in shining armour.” Most of the knights who visit us aren’t without their own challenges. Their armour might even be dented and rusted in places. That’s probably the way to recognize the real ones, anyhow.
I’ve never had a knight gallop to my door on a horse. The times one has arrived, she or he has come via a phone call or an email. Occasionally, one still announces herself or himself via the mail. The words they carry like a lance are simple ones, but powerful ones, “I’m here. Let me know what you need,” or “How about I stop by for coffee, and we put our heads together?”
You could do that for someone today. Who is it?
When I woke up one day many months ago to bad and unfair headlines about me in the newspaper, I received a text from a buddy of mine. It said, “What? Like, you weren’t famous enough? We should get dinner.”
Translation: This isn’t the end of the world. I am still your friend. I will stand with you.
Is it an accident that I remember that text? No. It mattered. It still matters.
You are just as powerful as my buddy. Who can you “show up for” today?
Dr. Keith Ablow