Enrich Your Life by Connecting with Others

Val MillsStarred Page By Val Mills, 2nd Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

Become a better person by reaching out to others. Closing yourself off to others makes the door to your heart more difficult to open.

Afraid of Becoming Involved

This morning, as I drank my second cup of coffee, I read a blog entry from a writer I follow, Jeff Goins. He shared the story of a friend whose life had been enriched by taking time to connect with a homeless man he encountered.
This story reminded me of a poem I wrote several years ago, Girl in a City Street, where I told about a young woman dressed in pyjamas walking the city streets on a busy Saturday morning, appealing for help.
I knew nothing of her circumstances, but my heart wanted to help her. However, my logic cried no, don't get involved, you never know where this will lead you. I'm ashamed to say I walked away, telling myself someone else would surely help her.
To this day I regret not being that someone.
There have been other occasions, when I've passed by young people begging on the streets. Whereas a dollar or two may have helped put food in their stomach for that day, I told myself they may also choose to spend the food on drugs instead. In other words, I was afraid of connecting with strangers who were calling out for help.

Is showing Compassion really That Difficult?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has found themselves in that situation and has made the choice to walk on. We close ourselves off from others, thankful our own world is more in order than the unfortunate person on the street.
We make judgements without knowing the circumstances. We believe these social problems are of no concern to us. We close the door to our hearts a little more, shutting out another part of the world around us.
Showing compassion seems to be a difficult thing for many of us. It should not be threatening to our daily lives to stop awhile, connect with another human being and find out why our help is needed. Once the circumstances are known it is easier to make choice about what we should do.
In the case of the girl in pyjamas,maybe she only needed bus money home, or money to make a phone call. Was I afraid of what others, strangers, would think of me if I stopped to connect with her by asking the simple question, Are you okay?
It really would have been no one else's business if I'd followed my heart that Saturday morning. But I turned my head, closed my heart and walked on.

Become the Richer for Your Choices

I continue to live with this story, feeling I made the wrong choice. I had an opportunity to help a fellow human being in need, but I chose to harden my heart.
We need connections with other people to enrich our lives and make us more humane. Every connection we make, be it brief as this one would have been, or more prolonged, add another layer to the person we are. Cutting ourselves off from others narrows our life perspectives, making us more shallow and of less value to the world.
We need to learn to make choices that will enrich not only the lives of others, but our own as well.

Let your Life Story Connect with Others

As a writer I now believe every person has a story to tell and every story can in some way be connected with my own if I let it. Of course, choices still need to be made.
None of us have the right to be judgmental about a person less fortunate than ourselves, without knowing the circumstances.
We can all learn to connect, to listen and decide for ourselves what is the best course of action. There will, of course, be times when walking away is the best choice, but don't judge too soon.

Read the poem, Girl in a City Street:
Girl in a City Street

Tags

Become A Better Person, Compassion, Homeless People, Life Stories, Making Connections, Reaching Out

Meet the author

author avatar Val Mills
Self-published writer, coffee drinker, enjoying life. Also found at
writingyourstories.wordpress.com and http://downatthebaths.blogspot.co.nz/

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
3rd Mar 2013 (#)

Beautiful, Val.

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author avatar Val Mills
3rd Mar 2013 (#)

Thanks Steve, when I read Jeff Goins oiece this morning it brought the girl in pyjamas back to me.

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author avatar M G Singh
3rd Mar 2013 (#)

Nice post and well presented on a topical subject

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
3rd Mar 2013 (#)

Our world is misled that connecting with the rich is what matters. But from my experience, they give less every way. I used to ignore those who used to ask for money for food for the same reasons, but no more. I do my bit and the feeling I get is so much better than when I ignore them! Thanks Val for this share that again proves my argument - we are all the same everywhere, our feelings are just the same - siva

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author avatar Delicia Powers
4th Mar 2013 (#)

Powerful Val...thank you my friend.

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author avatar Songbird B
5th Mar 2013 (#)

A very powerful and truthful article Val.. In some ways it made uncomfortable reading as I'm sure we have all done this in the past at sometime or other.. Your poem was haunting, and will stay with me long after I have signed out..

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author avatar Retired
6th Mar 2013 (#)

Inspiring and powerful indeed. Great post, Val dear.

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author avatar Retired
9th Mar 2013 (#)

You are so right. I too have made the decision to walk away for fear they would use the money for something else.

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