As I talked about before in my post “5 Cool Principles from Love Does,” being present is one of my favorite principles from the book. This does not seem like a big deal but simply being present in people’s lives and experiencing life together can be incredibly impactful.
The story that Bob tells in the “I’m With You” chapter is about when he was younger and decided to drop out of high school and go to the mountains to become a rock climber. Before he left a friend decided to go with him and he told Bob, “I’m With You.”
The friend obviously knew this was not a great idea, but he never told Bob that. He simply decided to go and support him. Once Bob realized that the whole rock-climbing idea was not going to work out, his friend did not rub it in his face but simply said, “I’m With You.”
I really like this story because I feel a typical reaction to a situation like this is things like:
This is a huge mistake.
You cannot throw your life away to go climb rocks.
Don’t be stupid.
But how about, I’m with you.
These are completely opposite. The typical responses are not supportive at all and they can be very discouraging to someone who is just trying to figure life out. It is so easy to just tell someone that their idea is dumb, but will that actually influence them?
If we are trying to care for and love people better, then we should look past their ideas and look at the person. Bob was probably not making the best decision and instead of his friend just telling him that he was wrong, he actually did something. Sometimes the best way to love someone is to just go and support them. Instead of telling people how to live their lives, we should go experience life with them.