When we think about the people who have given us hope and have increased the strength of our soul, we might discover that they were not advice givers, warners, or moralists, but the few who were able to articulate in words and actions the human condition in which we participate and who encouraged us to face the realities of life. . . . Those who do not run away from our pains but touch them with compassion bring healing and new strength. The paradox indeed is that the beginning of healing is in the solidarity with the pain. In our solution-oriented society it is more important than ever to realize that wanting to alleviate pain without sharing it is like wanting to save a child from a burning house without the risk of being hurt. It is in solitude that this compassionate solidarity takes its shape.
--Henri J. Nouwen