People in the helping professions know only too well what it is.They understand the feeling of looking at a file or out the door at the next person waiting to see them and they think, "No. Not one more." It's that point when you know you should afford the person in front of you every bit of the empathy, dignity, and kindness you would want to receive if you were in their place.
You know what needs to be done is in your wheelhouse. You have the tools and talents. Yet there is that moment when the story is just as compelling and the need is acute and on the inside you are thinking about how tired you are and how much you want someone to comfort you. Depending on your circustances, you may or may not receive that comfort. That's your problem, not theirs. Your job is to fix what they bring you.
I bring it up because at this time of the year we are deluged with people who pull, yank, wheedle, bludgeon, and demand we take on the impact of their hurts. It can be as direct as the friend who is in knots over their dysfunctional family situation. It can be the tacit request by someone in line at the store who is stretched so far in so many ways that they seem on the verge of snapping.
The person who helps for a living will look upon that hurting person out in the wilds beyond their office and at least contemplate helping because it's their job. What if we all made it our job to be helpers? What if we all offered kindness beyond the usual rubric that delineates courtesy?
You might see gratitude for acknowledging the other person's feelings.Then again the person on the receiving end might or might not mirror that kindness back. They might be hurting more than we know. They might be so distracted by the burdens of the season that they absorb your kindness but don't seem to acknoledge it. If that happens, let it go. Keep being kind. At the very least you have made a dent in the harshness that person may be enduring.
Happy Holidays and Bright Blessings.