Ever Not Know What To Say?


It happens often. Deep in conversation, we reach a point where we don’t know what to say. Remember the last time this happened? It was my 6th flight last week.

If you fly (or bus, subway, train), do you like to talk, or cringe at the thought? It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Sometimes I don’t say a word, sometimes we talk for a minute or two just to be nice, and sometimes we talk the whole flight.

She was upset that her friend was diagnosed, at 50, with pancreatic cancer and died three months later. She was upset that her mother died when she was very young, and that her ex-husband was an alcoholic. And at 53, she’s never worked harder, and with a 10% pay cut.

Not knowing what to say, I said, “Maybe you have been blessed with these terrible experiences so that you can help young girls who don’t have a Mom, or women married to alcoholics who feel desperate…”

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. One of my customers came in recently and looked more frazzled than normal. I knew a little bit about her situation but I asked anyway. She cried for nearly 5 minutes. Her husband has advanced prostate cancer and Alzheimers. The former will hopefully take him before the latter does. She doesn’t want to be alone. All I could do was put my arm around her shoulder and let her cry. I didn’t know what to say. But that was the best I could offer at the time.

    And sometimes, that’s enough.

  2. We speak with more than just words. You said it all with what you did. If you can’t do great things, do small things with great love.

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