This week I’ve been thinking about the important things in life, which for me include faith, family, friends, happiness, and health. A lot of these things have combined this week in thought-provoking ways, and from it all, I’ve seen the importance of just being there for people.
The first way I experienced people being there for ME this week was when 8 of us MAccers went skiing at Mad River Mountain on Sunday! I had never been skiing before, and my friends helped me with everything from getting my boots fit correctly to giving me pointers, going down the bunny hill with me, and literally standing in front of me as I tried to stand up so my skis and I would not slide down the hill in the process. (On a side note, I was a little sore from my first skiing adventure. This made me thankful for the usual awesome state of health I have, which does not make it painful to, for example, put on a jacket.) The skiing adventure was a blast, though, and I’m thankful for yet another marvelous MAcc memory.
I enjoy being there for people, too, and have gotten do so a fair amount this week. Whether it’s taking time to really listen, answering a gmail chat or email, or sending a thoughtful text, you can be there for someone and truly make a difference. However, just as you can be there for someone without physically “being there,” you can be physically present and not really be there. A phrase that was recently popular at the medical center was “Be here now.” When I’m talking with someone but keep looking at my phone, am I really there? A piece of advice I have is this: Don’t put your phone on the table while eating with someone. It makes a difference and speaks volumes about your being there. You may not be instantly available to someone texting you, but sometimes you have to choose for whom you’re going to be there at the moment.
Other ways I have experienced the power of presence this week include jogging with my friend and volunteering at the medical center. My friend and I at one point were a little too tired to speak to each other, but she was THERE with me as we jogged along Olentangy Trail. At the medical center, a lot of patients did not want a magazine, but they appreciated that I was there, volunteering to try to make them feel better. Some people just wanted to chat, which is another way I can be there for them.
My family and friends are amazing at being there for me, which gives me the ability to be there for others. Doing so is often the most rewarding part of my day. George Eliot once said, “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?” How often do you thank those people who are there for you, and how often do you step out of your world to be there for someone else?