Sunday, October 31, 2010

Look Around

Take a look around you. Maybe not physically but more metaphorically. What's going on with the people around you? How well do you know these people and what they're dealing with? I would have to say most of us don't really know what's going on.

For me, and a lot of people like me, something in their heads sings this song to them almost every day of their lives.

I'm sure everyone at some point or another has heard that haunting voice singing to them and telling them they're not good enough, that there is no hope for the future, and that the best thing to do would be to succumb to the gloom that depression offers.

I know I've certainly been there a lot.

When I take a look around, I see a lot of people trying to do good. There's this campaign going around to try and inspire hope: the It Gets Better project.

I've taken a part in it. I created a music video a few years ago in which, coincidentally, was about the same time I was coming out. The video is about a person coming to terms with themselves.

But then I really think about this project. Yes, I do think that it's a positive thing, and I do believe that it does inspire some hope in those who are feeling hopeless. But really, why all the effort on reaching out to those that we do not know?

Now, before you jump to any conclusions about that question, lemme clarify. I do think that people who are working on these projects are good, and they have good intentions, and that they are inspiring some hope. However, if you take a look around you, there are a lot of people you *already know* that need more of your attention.

There are people at our parties that go unnoticed, there are new classmates that go unwelcomed, old friends who have gone silent, family members who have lost their vitality, and so many others that we already have a relationship with that are simply fading away.

I have a way of trying to express my grief. And yes I know that often times it can be unhealthy. I post a facebook status, write a poem, or write in my blog. For the most part, I get people who text, write, or call asking to help and I begin to process. Maybe I'm just too stubborn to directly ask for help. But then, more often than not, I get some sort of message from someone I had previously considered a friend. It usually tells me that I am being ridiculous in my means of seeking help, that I'm dragging others down, that I need to suck it up and just get over it.

And, incredibly, these are some of the same people that are reaching out the countless unknown faces who need help. It seems that their concern lies more with being heard, and being known or popular, than with actually doing some good.

I have been working harder on finding those in my circle of friends who are feeling left out. It is truly rewarding to find someone that really just needed a friend to talk to. Their eyes light up, their smile comes back, and there is a very strong emotional connection that is built. Those connections usually last far longer than a stranger saying in passing, "things will get better".

I'm sorry if this has come across as a pity party for myself. It was not intended to do so. I simply wish to call people to pay attention to what is going on right in their very own relationships.

Find the black sheep. Find the kid at the party sitting by himself. Invite people beyond your usual circle of friends to do something fun. Be aware. We all know what it feels like to be left out, and feel like if we just disappeared, the world would go on as usual. Don't let your friends feel like that. They're your friend for a reason. Find the good in them, and *be* the good you wish to see in others.


  1. Two thumbs up. I'm one of those loners. The high points of me weekend were a friend inviting me to have coffee with him, and another friend posting on my facebook wall that he missed seeing me at a party. It's the little things that count.

  2. Awesome post. Mastering the art of awareness around me is a lofty personal goal of mine. Thanks for the great reminder.