Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Observations continue....

Hi folks, just wanted to sort of continue with my last post, I didn't really say everything I wanted with it.

I've seen a pattern in the way people act, it's nothing new, but it's interesting I think to observe. Everyone knows it, everyone does it, but we try not to admit it.

We're selfish.

Granted, it's part of our survival instincts, to take care of our own interests, our basic needs. Food, shelter, sleep, stuff that's required to "survive". We cling to the things that we feel we "need", and fight tooth and nail to acquire and hold on to them. We go to work, make money, then go shopping for these things, clothes, cars, homes, and all the things that make daily life possible. Then we go about managing and organizing our lives, with our spouses or loved ones. We take care of our own, our families, the people who we are more or less responsible to make sure remain comfortably fed, clothed, and sheltered.

But this selfishness also carries over into other aspects of our lives. The things we do for fun, our "down" time. We all do what we "want" to do, as we as humans also have a need to be entertained, to fulfill our desires for things that make us feel good, whether they are "needed" or not. So our days are filled with working, eating, cleaning, driving, and being entertained, and if we're lucky, sleeping, to get up the next day and do it all over again.

What's wrong with that? Nothing I guess, I do all those things too. That's just human nature, it's what we do.

The problem I think is that most of us do so much worrying about our own lives that we don't take the time to see that there are others who might need us. They are living their lives, being just as selfish as we are, taking care of their own. But the thing we humans do in the acquisition of stuff, and entertaining ourselves, is we find we need others to help us do it. We find there are things we can't do alone, we find we want companions, someone to share our stuff with, because we are social creatures. The fact is, without each other, we couldn't survive, no one person can do it COMPLETELY by themselves. We MUST interact, on some level, with others, in order to get and do the things we need and want.

In a lot of these interactions, it seems we continue to be selfish, and take only what we want, be what we need to be, say what we need to say, only enough to fulfill whatever need WE have, and then go on with our lives.

All of us have done it. We only talk to someone because they have something we want. We interact a person or friend, but only because they fulfill some desire or need we have at that moment, and when that need is satisfied, we no longer interact with that friend. That's a part of our daily lives. Find and get what we need, then go on with OUR lives. But what about if that person or friend needs us? Do we stop what we're doing and help? Do we forget our own troubles for a minute and go help out? Probably not as often as we should.

That my friends is my problem. People just don't take the time to be a true friend and help out. Sure it takes time, and sometimes it may take a considerable amount of your own resources, but often all someone needs is for someone to BE there. Being social creatures, we like to have others to talk to, to interact with. All it takes sometimes is a "Hi, how are you?" and a smile to make someone's day. How long does that take? Something that simple can let someone know that there is someone who cares, someone interested in their day. Communication is important.

Something else that's important is the role we play, recognizing the need, and filling it. Sometimes too much interaction is just as bad as not enough. Smothering a person in love and attention can often cause it to be thrown back in one's face, trust me, I've seen that one a bunch of times. Or worse yet, you're that person who does nothing but drain a person of their time and resources to fill your own needs and desires giving nothing in return. But if you're truly trying to be friends with someone, it's important to know what role you play in that person's life, and be there to fulfill it. Friends understand that there are problems, legitimate ones, that you DO have to pay attention to, that will cause you to concentrate on yourself, but there is still the need to pay attention to communication, and do your best to be there when needed.

It doesn't take much. Sure there are times when you might have to put yourself out, go above and beyond, but in my opinion, there are many MORE times when all someone wants is for someone to be there for them, no matter what happens. To let them know there is a solid foundation for them, someone who is always there, who cares, and it doesn't take anything more than just BEING there. Just hanging out. It's that simple.

Are you that kind of person? Maybe if more people were, the world would be a better place for all of us.

1 comment:

  1. While I can agree with a lot of what you have to say, I also think people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. If a person is in your life for a reason, and only that reason, there is no sense in trying to hold onto them longer than they are meant to be here. I've had this experience many times, and through no fault of my own, or theirs, we are no longer friends. But when they were a part of my life, I desperately needed them. I do not think that every person I interact with has to become a lifelong friend--I don't have enough time in the day to interact with all of them!