I consider myself a pretty open, kind, friendly person. Not meaning to big myself up but I would say I’m the type of person that not only is compelled to advocate for those unable or unwilling to defend themselves but also the type of friend, whose aim it is to improve your day, help you feel better about yourself or your situation and generally give you a life ‘leg up’.
I’m not saying that I’m special or unique in this, I have great friends and acquaintances who will brighten my day; bolster my ego; help me believe in myself; lift me up when I fall; even scrape me off the ground and help fix me when I’m broken.
When I can I aim to live a life ‘paying it forward’. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m some sort of saint. I definitely have wicked thoughts; times when I might wish ill on a person (criminals, politicians, arseholes, wankers… those sorts of people…), but generally I think I live altruistically and in consideration of others. And to be honest, it’s almost a selfish thing, because living this way makes my own life better. Yes, maybe it is just about me(!).
Living like this can start with small things like a smile; an offer to help with a bag; a comment about a nice pair of shoes someones wearing; a coffee for a homeless person; a queue jump for someone with only a couple of items… nothing earth shattering just common courtesy and human consideration
There have been times in my life when I have felt helpless and hopeless: worthless even. In those times I have had many great and varied friends who have helped me. One friend would just come and sit in companionable silence with me doing her sewing or knitting; others would take on small tasks; some would send a card with a comical or meaningful message; the odd phone call; an invitation for coffee. Basically they were kind and considerate. When people provide some of their precious time for you – be it a whole day or just a fleeting moment; they are seeing you, and at those rock bottom times in life where you feel worthless or invisible those fleeting moments can carry you through a day.
I am sure that those who gave of themselves to me benefitted from doing so. I know I feel great if I can make someone smile, cheer someone up or help them out. We are social animals, we work best in communities. As women our nature is to nurture. Happily for me, I’m a natural at it, I’m almost addicted to it.
We all need our friends and family to remind us how extraordinary we each are. Sometimes we need to dip in and take from the pool of strength and support; other times we pour into it.