The Way Arnold Schwarzenegger Responded to a Depressed Fan is a Powerful Lesson in Empathy
Arnold Schwarzenegger has done everything. He’s been a body builder, actor, governor, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have time to support others when they need that support.
Schwarzenegger is very active on Reddit, where he uses the name u/GovSchwarzenegger. And while he discusses everything from politics to fitness, he’s also known to use his fame to offer advice and inspiration to supporters.
One of his supporters, Ali from Canada, is going through a period of depression and has not had the motivation to go to the gym. “I had been wanting to go to the gym for quite a while and had not been as I could not get any motivation going,” Ali told Bored Panda. “I figured that I wouldn’t have anything to lose just asking. Worst case scenario, no one notices and it gets ignored. Best case scenario. Well, you know!”
To Ali’s surprise the Terminator actor replied, with gentle encouragement to take “one step at a time”. The supportive exchange has proven very popular on Reddit, with screen grabs of the conversation receiving more than 70,000 upvotes – a sign of popularity.
One Reddit user wrote: “I’ve been in a personal crisis myself, haven’t been to the gym in two years. This legit makes me want to cry.”
Ali responded, saying: “Let your bad feelings out and cry if you need to, holding back emotions is the easiest way to go further into depression. Don’t give up!”
Ultimately, Ali is now back to a regular routine. “If ever I feel like not going, I just imagine him saying “do it” in his accent,” he laughed.
“When I saw Arnold’s first message I was immediately uplifted. And I mean immediately! By the time I came back from the gym people were already so happy in the comments and sharing their own experiences. The story wasn’t about me anymore, it was about the explosion of inspiration that Arnold’s words caused in his post.”
“I went to sleep that night feeling like a million bucks, knowing I had had an amazing day. Waking up the next day to see Arnold checking in on me still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! Saying he was proud of me for having gone to the gym and asking how it went, it definitely felt unreal once again.”
Ali describes himself as a “generally a nice guy,” but since his exchange with Arnold he has been ridiculously positive. “It’s hard to put a damper on my mood these days,” he told Bored Pander. And what was the first Schwarzenegger movie he watched after it all went down? “In the evening I watched Last Action Hero.”
Because, for him, Arnold has been a hero, and also an inspiration. If someone reaches out to you, and is going thru a tough time, don’t make it harder and don’t ignore them. Take the moment to be there for them.