When I was in school one of the things I used to hate was ‘clicks’.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with them.
Groups of people (girls & boys alike) sitting in concentric circles gabbing about the same stuff everyday, because they were all the same kinds of people.
I used to be that kid who wanted to just be friends with everyone, to sit with different people everyday & get to befriend people who were deemed not ‘cool’ enough by the ‘cool kids’. (even if they deemed me ‘uncool’ too)
Side note: Why do I invert ‘cool’ or ‘uncool’?
Because who has the right to deem or judge who is ‘cool’ or ‘uncool’?
Not one single person, on this earth, has the right to do so.
Even if it is unspoken, being made to feel like we are not good enough or not trendy enough to be included in the lives of our friends or communities is simply ludacris!
None of us have the right to project that feeling onto another human being. Period.
So back to school….!
I wanted people to feel like they were a friend of mine because they were worth being befriended (disagree if you like, but I truly believe EVERYONE deserves to have friends)
Not because of the interests they had, the clothes they wore, or the activities they liked to participate in – but because of the great person they were on the inside, or just the simple fact that they are a person.
Now obviously there are times when you have to protect yourself/your family/your community & not allow people to deliberately come in & destroy relationships etc.
There’s always going to be people who are nasty, manipulative or otherwise.
And yes, it might mean that they’re not our best of friends, that we don’t choose to spend time with them.
But does it mean they are not human? No.
Does it mean they should be forgotten about within a community? No.
It may not be a popular opinion but mine is that a lot of the time, these types of behaviours stem from a hard place.
A place of hurt, misunderstanding, abuse, pain and many other different things.
It’s doesn’t always mean it’s a reflection of who they are, it’s their natural reaction, because let’s face it, we are all broken people, we have serious flaws & some might just be a little more uncomfortably obvious than others.
Perhaps they are crying out to be accepted because they’re not sure how to ask for help?
Maybe they are dismissive & controlling because that’s the way they have been treated or is the example that was set for them?
Maybe they don’t have love in their world. No one should experience that.
Which leads back to us – an opportunity. To be love.
To give acceptance, understanding, patience & grace, even when we don’t feel it to be granted.
But most of all, I believe people NEED community.
The darkest times in my life were endured through community.
I would consider myself strong in character – but I can 100%, proudly confess, to not being able to get through these times without my community around me.
Community to you might be incredible parents, two people that you know will always hold you upright.
It might be a church where people are constantly supporting you & sharing in your life experiences.
It might look like a close knit group of girlfriends.
It might just be you, your partner & your family.
It might just be you right now.
Whatever your community looks like – it’s imperative to have, it’s imperative to find & it’s imperative to be.
I did find myself in a click at one stage, it happens easily when you find people you enjoy spending time with.
And there’s nothing wrong with having a close group of friends.
Personally, we find it important to ensure that we are inclusive, and if the click isn’t able to be that then it’s time to step back slightly. It is certainly not easy & it can be a lonely time, but once you step out, it’s like your eyes are open and you notice all of these people who you could be getting to know. Like wearing sunglasses inside and then taking them off, it takes awhile for your eyes to adjust, but once they do, you can see so much more.
Still have your time with your close friends, don’t feel bad for that, but let’s always try to encourage an inclusive community.
So how do we make a change to those around us?….
WE START WITH US!
No person is going to feel genuinely loved by reading this blog, but they will if each of us take it & apply it to our every day lives & experiences.
To call someone up on the phone (that old fashioned way of talking) and ask them if they’d like to catch up as you’d love to know how they are doing.
To remember what someone told you was happening in their world & to follow up by asking them how it went & letting them know you are there for them.
To pay for someone’s coffee who looks like they’re having a bad day.
To LISTENING to people’s response when you use the phrase “Hey, how are you?”
I remember going to a chemist to buy Sophie some medication when she was really little, I was severely depressed and had hit ground zero. I was pretty stoked with myself to even have left the house!
I walked up to the counter & the lady said “Hi, how are you today?” to which I responded “I’m actually not great, having a really hard day”.
She’d looked around to someone else as I had answered her question, she turned back to me, smiled & said “That’s good”.
(Insert emotional breakdown here)
The point of the story is that if we are going to ask someone how they are, let’s care about exactly that.
HOW THEY ARE!
You’d be surprised how many people’s lives you can touch by recognising this simple fact.
My mum is AMAZING at this. She will be sitting next to a stranger, ask them how they are & 10 mins later comes over to me telling me that she’s counselled them through a tough situation going on in their life & she’s having a coffee with them next week to make sure they’re okay.
Most of the time they don’t have community around them & mum knows they need it.
Now my mum DEFINITELY has a gift when it comes to this, and we don’t all have the right words to say at those moments, but the reason it happens is because when mum asks them how they are? She genuinely means it!
So let’s all try to do this more. Myself 100% included.
Because acceptance will dampen judgement & love will cast out loneliness.
Find REAL COMMUNITY, with real people who genuinely care about you, ask about your life & accept you for who you are, REGARDLESS of the clothes you wear, how many likes you have on Instagram or the type of house decor you possess.
And Be REAL COMMUNITY, with real people who genuinely care about you, ask about your life &… well…. you know the rest.
Enjoy your week ahead lovely people!
Thanks for coming & sharing some ponder time with me.
Shout out to Dan Bohlsen for this awesome shot.