Lighting Up Each Other’s Lives

Friendship!

In the spirit of the holidays I’ve been considering the fact that the holiday season isn’t always the easiest for everyone. While most of us spend the season with friends and family, laughing and reveling in good memories, thinking up random niceties we can do for those we know, there are some who spend the season wishing it would pass by quickly and quietly.
When I was grabbing a quick lunch during my break from work, I noticed a middle aged woman sitting in a booth, sweating and looking very pale. Almost as quickly as I saw her, another woman came up to her and introduced herself, stating that she was a nurse, and couldn’t help but notice that the woman was not looking too well. It turned out that the woman was suffering from a severe cold and was quite dehydrated. Before the nurse could even make the request, a waiter brought over an orange juice and water. Others in the restaurant wore expressions of concern for this woman and all were relieved when the color returned to her face. It warmed my heart to know that people still cared about their fellow human beings, but it also made me think about the fact that often times we are only nice to one another when there is a clear signal that something is wrong. We never pause to consider that maybe there are some around us who are quietly struggling.
Perhaps, we are aware of exactly who it is that is going through a tough time, but we have no means of helping them. It’s not as simple as handing someone a glass of water who looks thirsty. When someone is sad, I rarely know what to say. I’m never sure if mentioning the situation would remind them of troubles they would rather forget. I have a hunch that others also have this problem. This desire to not be meddlesome and make someone else uncomfortable can come off as cold and unkind. Which leaves me to wonder what it is that one can do? My sister, a very wise woman, once told me that you have to accept people for who they are and allow them to show you they care in their own way. Sometimes, people like myself don’t necessarily know how to tell another person that they empathize with their situation. Rather than saying anything, they try to pick up the slack in other ways, perhaps by running an errand for the other person so they have one less thing to think about, or just giving them an extra long hug.
I can’t help but think about the fact that we are all connected. Much like a string of lights, there are those who are lit up with excitement and enthusiasm, and others who are traveling along the dark line wishing the season would pass them by unnoticed. Regardless of which we are, we exist together, and interact with each other. I also believe that we all genuinely care about one another. So this season I’m grateful for the little things. I’m grateful for those who care for me in their own way and this season I hope that those who know me and are having a tough time know that I am thinking about them too.

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