Great piece from the LA Times because the authors give us a concrete way to avoid making those completely inappropriate comments that pop out of our mouths in the face of a loved one's suffering. The article focuses on friends who are "in the center of the ring" because of illness, but it seems the theory and practice just as easily work if the ring of pain surrounds divorce, or loss of job, or any such life trauma. 


Petra said...

Useful article. Interesting how so many of us need to be taught our manners again.

William said...

Interesting plan and makes good sense. Seems the ability to instantly publish thoughts on Facebook and Twitter has convinced many people that everything they have to say is intelligent, fascinating, important and relevant - when the truth is many people in our culture of narcissism just need to learn to STFU.

Dee said...

seems like just common sense and courtesy - do we need an app for this reminder protocol?

SherryMarie said...

I agree that it should be common sense. Weren't we all raised with "If you can't say nuttin' nice, don't say nuttin' at all" ? My daughter had posted it on Facebook last week, to say that shouldn't it apply there as well?

But I do like the analogy of the rings. It makes a very visual way of reminding yourself that you're NOT the center ... this time ... and so you should be giving thanks and not complaining.

Beth Lowe said...

I have found that many people specialize in "vitubritious" thinking--or the "thank God it is you and not me" syndrome. When my mother had a heart attack 12 hours after colon cancer surgery, my sister and I found that people ignored the "do not disturb" sign. So we put a chair in the hall by the door and one of us sat there, keeping the friends and friends of friends and acquaintances out. I learned a great deal from mother experience. People wanted to be the keepers of the information to such an extent they would do just about anything. I really like the idea of the Ring Theory. This was a terrific article and needs to be said. Thank you.

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Cristina said...

wise, logical, simple and a warner: sooner or later we'll all be in that (damned) Center Ring.

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Get Well cards and flowers are frequently better than visits and phone calls.

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