It is a new year, and a lot of us tend to enter the new year with resolutions. Some last and work out, some don’t. Thing is, you can really make a resolution at any time, not just when entering the new year.
Regardless of what resolution we may choose, one that I think stands true every year, is character. Improving upon ones character is always noble, and always matters.
A young girl sat in a hospital emergency room, she was going to be admitted to the psychiatric ward. Drug user, pale skin, very frail, had been living on the streets. Where was her family? No idea. While waiting to be signed in by the lead doctor and social worker, she was to be monitored. A security guard was asked to watch over. For her protection, her safety, or the hospitals?
“I know my life is a wreck.” She quietly spoke to the guard.
“Maybe,” was his response; “maybe not. But regardless, you have the resiliency and strength to unwreck it, at any time, yourself. You have that power. No one can or has the right to take that away from you.”
Maybe it wasn’t his place to say, but he did.
The short talk between the two ended with a smile.
Why do this? Why take the time and bother? Because it matters.
Because it makes a difference;
Because it put a smile on the face and in the heart;
Because it allows someone to stand up; it allows us to recognize strength over weakness.
When I was younger, and vulnerable, and trapped by a deadly virus, my mother stood up for me. Another student in school held my hand to guide me through my unease. A teacher slowed down to include me. When I got a little older a friend put trust in me. A manager gave me the accommodation I asked for with little thought. A colleague gave me the courage to lead.
Many have helped make me feel comfortable, shown me respect, complimented my accomplishments and have dried my tears when needed.
Because it mattered.
Sometimes we lose; sometimes we fall. Failure happens. We take two steps forward and then get hit with something that knocks us back five. We get up, and start again. Help is there, take it. There is nothing wrong with getting help. There is nothing wrong with giving help.
Be encouraging; be inspirational; show some kindness and empathy.
Give others a voice; listen to that voice; act on that voice.
Because it matters.
I am a Mentor to others yet I also sit in an office and speak with a Social Worker. I volunteer once in a while but I also need a helping hand every so often. I donate but sometimes require support.
Because I matter.
Because you matter.
The boy next door; the girl on the street; the men, women and children in crisis. The sick; the elderly; the poor; the rich. Any race, sex or disability. All of the differences and all of the similarities.
Let’s talk, let’s dialogue, let’s have a good sit down timeless conversation. Let’s remember and acknowledge that we are one, yet billions.
Because it matters.
Because it makes a difference. Sometimes, always, never; do we need to measure? It makes a difference somewhere to someone; because that girl is worth it, the sick and the homeless, they are worth it. Our community is worth it. Our humanity is worth it.
If my lived experiences, (challenging as some things may have been) if it has taught me one thing, is that it is not that hard. A smile, a hug, a word of kindness; it is not hard. Make time. To show support one does not have to move mountains. You do not need to be a saviour on a white horse; though you might be the saviour in someone else’s eyes. I know I have seen my share.
Do something to help, to encourage, to support. Even if only tiny steps are taken.
Laugh with someone.
Cry with someone.
Listen to someone.
Because it matters.
By Mark Koning via Challenging Barriers
Mark is the Communications & Administration Coordinator with the AIDS Committee of York Region. Mark is also an Author and Blogger of Challenging Barriers and The BIST Blog. (Brain Injury Society of Toronto)