Tuesday, February 02, 2010

We Need Each Other

This morning I read something written by a friend of mine who seems to hate herself ... a lot. The way she looks, the way she behaves, the way her life is taking her. It's sad.

I also continually read tons of negative status updates on Facebook and Twitter from my friends who have a dismal outlook on life most of the time. Every once in awhile you can tell that they try to say something positive, but for the most part, it's sad.

While I would love to believe that Seasonal Affective Disorder has taken over all our lives, I think there's more to it than that. There's more to it than just the simple fact that people have negative personalities or tend to see the rotten aspects of life regularly.

We need each other. A lot. We need more than we are giving to each other. We need affirmation and love, attention and forgiveness.

I could look at these posts and updates and see self-centeredness, but what I actually see is the fact that I am the selfish one. I get so tired of this constant need for attention that I tend to walk away shaking my head, when what I should be doing is reaching out.

One day, long ago, I decided to perform an experiment. You see, I've always been a bit of a pollyanna-type personality. I don't say too much about what is going on in my life. People really don't care and even if they do, they don't have time to deal with it. So, that week I had to make a bunch of calls asking people to assist in programming at the church I was working for. As always, the first question out of their mouth would be, "Hi Diane, how are you today?"

Great question, eh? To be honest, that week I had a cold, I was worried about my dad who had just had emergency gall-bladder surgery, I needed to pay some bills that were concerning me and I was really annoyed with my boss.

I wondered to myself ... does anybody really care when they ask that question or is it simply a matter of habit. First person who asked me that question was in the hot seat. "Hi Diane, how are you today?"

"Well, Jim ... it's actually been a tough morning. I feel awful today."

You could shred the silence it was so thick. He worked at the local bank and did not have time to deal with me. This was also not the Diane that he worked with every week. She was happy and free with compliments, focusing on others and not herself. The poor man had no idea what to say to me. So, he said, "That's too bad, what's up. Did you need me to do something at the church?"

Yup, he moved right on past it. And so it was.

We desperately want someone to care about us. Someone other than those who are required to care. We want to feel important in other people's worlds.

Sometimes we become important in someone else's world. A friendship begins to blossom and all of a sudden you realize that there is another human being that cares for you. As the relationship grows, you quickly learn about each other and you think you've found someone that will be interested in knowing crazy things about you.

These relationships don't occur often enough, as evidenced by the fact that we continue to reach out for more attention.

Now, I could tell you that God is the friend that will never leave you and will always pay attention to you. That's absolutely correct. But sometimes we have to recognize that our need for humanity to pay attention to us is enormous!

Maybe God has put us here so that we are in place when He asks us to reach out and care for others because He can't physically put His hand on their shoulder and He can't type words into a status update saying, "I love you" or post a response saying, "You are worth more than you can ever imagine."

And maybe, when we're feeling sorry for ourselves, God is reminding us that there are others who would benefit from our love and attention. Because when we finally give in to that and pay attention to someone else, whaddya know, they're paying attention to us as well.

We need each other. Moment by moment, day by day, all through our lifetime. It's easy to become self involved and forget that piece of the puzzle. I suspect, though, that with just a moment's processing, you can think of someone that needs a quick email, comment, or call to remind them that you are interested in their lives.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Wow Diane, you have no idea how right on the mark you are. I'm glad that I caught this today. I miss seeing your smiling face at choir on Tuesdays. And I fully agree with this entire post.
Miss you