In the midst of shootings, political unrest and midterms (both elections and tests), it can be easy to get caught up in one’s own thoughts and problems and forget to pay attention to how others are doing. I am notoriously guilty for this mistake. I tend to favor my classwork and extracurriculars over being intentional about showing interest in my friends’ lives. That needs to change.
While many people simply address what is most immediately relevant in their own lives, practicing selflessness and compassion is crucial to any relationship. Caring for someone means nothing without making an effort to show it.
Reaching out to a friend is easy and effective. A short text takes mere seconds and makes another person feel special and cared. Intentional conversations and genuinely-expressed interest in one another’s lives can change someone’s day from dismal and lonely to uplifting and full of support.
It’s important to remember that being unhappy is not synonymous with being a burden. Friends aren’t just around for the fair weather; they are a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on during the roughest times because they love and want to support one another.
With troubling events happening around the world, setting aside preoccupations and being an active and available friend is more important than ever. A simple “I was thinking of you” or “Tell me what’s going on and how I can help,” is an invaluable tool that can turn someone’s entire life around. It’s never too late to start being a better friend and improving the lives of others; all it really takes is a caring heart and a quick text.
Follow Ryan Harding on Twitter: @ryanhardingCA