09 June 2013

People need us, and we need them

There is always something to do.  There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well.  And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.

Nikki Giovanni

It's intimidating, isn't it?  To think that we may have some responsibility towards our fellow human beings, to think that it may be up to us to comfort someone we hardly know, or to give something to someone we don't really like that well.  Our purpose in life is not to save the world, of course, but to be there for those who need us.  Unfortunately, we tend to limit our ideas of who needs us to a very few people, while the truth of the matter is that everyone needs us or our talent or our compassion and caring.  We may not want to see that fact because of the tension involved in such a huge responsibility, but there it is:  it's true.

But we've heard this idea before, about making sure that we love those who surround us and live with us, giving them encouragement and caring and attention.  None of these things cost anything but a little time and effort, yet it's so easy for us not to do them because we have the idea that things are fine with them.

But maybe they're not.  How many people have committed suicide when no one they knew had any idea that they had suicidal thoughts?  How many people have suffered from depression when no one else saw what they were going through because they hid it so well?

The people we're with need us, just as we need them.  And we have the awesome and incredible potential of being positive influences in their lives, just by sharing our love and caring with them.  What can you give today?  To whom can you give it?  Perhaps these are the most important questions that we should be asking ourselves.


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