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Can helping others lessen my own suffering?

Deepak Chopra
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
On a practical level, nothing alleviates suffering like reaching out to another person who is suffering. Go and help, be of service if only in the smallest way. Each of us feels timid about reaching out to others; our society speaks of community but mostly we drift like atoms in a void. It isn't easy to reach over the walls built around our isolation, but any gesture -- whatever you feel safe to do -- is a step toward healing.

After the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks, thousands of citizens from all walks of life volunteered to assist in search, rescue, support, and other efforts. Hundreds of thousands responded almost instantly to the call for blood donors.

Tragedy turned to light for some volunteers because they made a heart connection with others; a human thread now linked them to the life we all share. It is this connection we crave the most. But it is up to us to find the will to weave the first strand.

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