Oh, what a statement!
I saw this posted on Facebook and it felt like just the right lyric to the song that has been playing at the back of my mind for years now.
Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger.
Imagine yourself as a teenager. Remember all the angst and helplessness and the feeling that literally no one understands you.
Now, imagine yourself when you just started your college degree or high school and maybe you didn’t know anyone (like me during my first months of uni). Remember that feeling of being an imposter, or lack of confidence, or just simply not knowing who to make eye contact with in a crowd.
Remember the day when you really needed a compliment. Or the day when someone from school off-handedly said something like: “Wow, you are so tall for a girl” and you took it to heart. Maybe because it didn’t seem much to be worried about but that comment sat in your head for days.
I wrote a piece on how you shouldn’t say things if they don’t bring value to anyone.
Let’s flip it around here: What about focusing not on keeping your mouth shut but actually saying so many valuable things that people start smiling when they see you. What about focusing on being that person you needed in the crowd, that compliment or a smile or a nod you looked for.
“We have gone through this and survived with no help. So why do we have to…”. This statement should hurt your ears when you hear it next. That mentality drives isolation and abandonment and lack of team work, everything, humans so desperately run away from.
Start feeling responsible for the younger generation that comes after you. Start feeling like you have to say Hi to a newbie. Like you have to explain how your new workplace operates. Start feeling the need to make the person behind the counter laugh. The need to ask if a new student in your class needs help.
I have always felt like this is a natural part of being a human. Giving so much value and making people around you as comfortable and happy as you can. Unfortunately, all of us forget that from time to time. We get caught up with our lives and problems and feeling like ‘I have it hard enough’ or ‘It is not my responsibility’. In the age of perfect Instagram accounts and happy Facebook posts, we forget that we really need each other.
Make it your responsibility to be who you needed when you were younger. By taking that responsibility, you are reminding yourself every day that everyone matter, and everything you say and do can touch someone around you, and that feeling alone will make you so much happier, so much more proud.