As I get older and see my circle of friends aging, too – I see a greater need for people to be there for each other.
I mean this in the most practical way! I have many friends who are single, with no family nearby or no family at all, and even the youngest of them may sometimes get ill or need help with something. Our society pooh-poohs anyone who is not self-sufficient since we are all supposed to be strong and rugged individualists.
The bottom line is that many people who NEED help (even with something small, like getting boxes out of the attic) rarely ASK for help, and sometimes blow their budget paying for help when a friend could have done it for them.
So I am asking you all to consider BEING THERE for your extended family of friends. And if you have no one that you call a friend, reach out (you could volunteer, or go to the library and strike up a conversation) and begin to build your circle of friends.
• Stay in Touch to Reach Out
When I was single, I had a couple of friends that I always let know when I was going somewhere out of the ordinary and when I would be home; they would do the same – that way if we checked and the person wasn’t home yet, we knew to start the process of following up.
Sometimes we bought stuff in bulk at Costco and split it among ourselves to save money. Sometimes we made casseroles or soup to bring to each other when sick or helped care for pets.
Now with cell phones, it is easier to check if someone is home okay after a trip; or if they might need a grocery run since they are ill. We have to consciously REACH OUT because our society has trained us to mind our own business – which isn’t a bad thing by itself, but there are many lonely and needy people out there whose lives would be improved by simply being there for them once in a while.
Whether you chose to stick with a circle of friends; or reach out to elderly and the single parent in your neighborhood or building; or extend out to a club or group – you will make a tremendous difference by being there.
• Even the Small Things Mean a Lot
Think about the small things that you need help with from time to time. Maybe even organize a cooperative.
If all you do is help get boxes from the attic or rake leaves for someone who can’t…you have still done A LOT.
Living smaller can also be living LARGE. Be there.