Years ago, when I was working as a psychologist at a children's institution in England, an adolescent boy showed up in the waiting room, it was David.
David wore a black raincoat that was buttoned all the way up to his neck. His face was pale, and he stared at his feet while wringing his hands nervously. He had lost his father as an infant, and had lived together with his mother and grandfather ever since. But when David turned 13, his grandfather died and his mother was killed in a car accident. He was very depressed， refusing to talk to others.
The first two times we met, David didn't say a word. He sat in the chair and only looked up at the children's drawings on the wall. As he was about to leave after the second visit, I put my hand on his shoulder. He didn't shrink back, but he didn't look at me either.
"Come back next week," I hesitated a bit. Then I said, "I know it hurts."
He came, and I suggested we play a game of chess. He nodded. After that we played chess every Wednesday afternoon in complete silence and without making any eye contact. It's not easy to cheat in chess, but I admit that I made sure David won once or twice.
It seemed as if he enjoyed my company. But why did he never look at me? "Perhaps he senses that I respect his suffering." I kept wondering and playing with him, until some months later, suddenly, he looked up at me, "It's your turn," he said.
After that day, David started talking He got friends in school and joined a bicycle club. He wrote to me a few times, after that the letters stopped. Now he had really started to live his own life.
Maybe I gave David something. At least I learned a lot from him. I learned how time makes it possible to overcome what seems to be an insuperable pain. I learned to be there for people who need me. And David showed me how one - without any words - can reach out to another person. All it takes is a hug, a shoulder to cry on，a friendly touch, a sympathetic nature - and an ear that listens.