“Only a man that has been in jail can truly sing about it”
Johnny Cash said that. Or something like it.
I got called out the other day; “But who are you to help people with life turbulence? You’re not a psychiatrist!”
True. But then neither do I present myself as one. Or anything close.
This person didn’t know my back story.
“No, but I’ve been there. I’ve got the scars. The t-shirt. The experience. Everything else is commoner sense and empathy”.
Same holds true for everything in life. In this age of information, it’s far too easy for people to get seduced into pivoting from one thing to the next, whilst standing on a rice-paper layer of credibility that a 2-week online course and a few crates of Google slide under them.
I’m not belittling their ambition or the integrity of their intentions. But we should never underestimate the value of the coal face. The jail cell. The hospital bed, or the hundreds of hours of blood, sweat and tears that carves out the priceless foundations of Experience.
Who am I to help people? Who is anyone? But if they ask me what it felt like – before during and after – I’ll be able to tell them. And that breeds hope.
The rest is common sense and empathy.