Monday, May 25, 2015

Discovering Our Place in the Lives of Others

"Our lives are not our own.
From womb to womb, we are bound to others. Past and present. 
And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."
- Somni 451, Cloud Atlas.

In the recent Angels and Life's Crossroads post, we saw that everything in life happens for a reason. That the people life brings into your life are always meant to help you find a purpose, a purpose that's often greater than yourself.
These human interactions are at times life's way of bringing you Angels to inspire you when you have needs that are to be met, when you are at a crossroads.

Today's post further explores the role we play in the lives of others, and how we can discover our place in the lives of those we get to interact with.

On of the most emotional moments I've seen on TV was in the LOST finale 'afterlife' scene where Jack Shephard met his father Christian. When Jack wonders why they are where they are, Christian explains:

This is a place that you all made together so that you could find one another.
The most important part of your life, was the time that you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.

The air-crash survivors in LOST soon realized that they were better off living together and working in teams to deal with the challenges they faced every day they were on the mysterious island.

That situation is always replicated in our lives. Each is born into a family made up of siblings and in most cases, siblings. In some cultures, the extended family comprising grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins remains a part of one's upbringing.

These people often shape one's perceptions and greatly influence how one relates with other people later in life. Should one encounter abuse in his or her formative years, the child remains traumatized and scarred for life. For the fortunate ones who are showered with love, genuine unconditional care and purpose-driven upbringing, they blossom into people who are outgoing and who engage with others in amiable and socially acceptable ways.

For those among us who are entrusted with raising young ones - be it as a parent, uncle, auntie, teacher or care-giver, the onus is upon us to be a positive influence. These kids are quite impressionable during their formative years. This has been shown in this TV commercial that underscores the importance of your influence:

Beyond childhood, we meet people in the schools we attend, we get to meet people in the neighborhoods we live and in our workplaces. These people may share a few things with us such as a class, office or neighborhood, but what has brought them to this day always remains different.

When we encounter these people and our paths cross, it is important to realize that what has always worked for us may not work for them. It is true that we are united in our differences. But these differences must be acknowledged and respected. Looks may be deceiving and first impressions may last. But it is important to take a moment and properly understand others before engaging them with the assumption that our way is the right way.

Discovering our place in other people's lives is a great way to also realize our purpose in life and what we have to do to shape our destiny. Given that nobody lives along in this life, the greatest achievements are invariably hinged on the constituents roles many people play towards something bigger than the sum of its parts.

Our lives are wholly dependent on services provided by others, and we always use tangible things that others have made. Such people indirectly make it easier for us to meet our obligations and realize our dreams.

I shall end with the role those who are blessed and fortunate among us should play in the lives of people of less means.
We get to meet people who are unwell, who are going through a rough stretch in life or who are battling untold anguish in life. Some of these people may only need just a smile to lighten their day, genuine care and understanding that it is not irreparably damaging to go through such hard times, the assurance that hard times do come to an end in the fullness of time.

In some cases, they need actual involvement - someone to hold their hand, lend a hand, offer material support, moral support or ultimately make their fight one's fight. They need people who realize that sometimes, those who seem least deserving may be the most in need. They need people to walk with them without ever giving up. They may need someone to take a much-needed and beneficial place in their lives.

Ralph Waldo Emerson who was born today 212 years ago, sums up the purpose of life above. Making a difference in the lives of others is at the core of these timeless words!

 * * *

I was torn between ending with Daniel Powter's 'Bad Day' and the song that I have finally settled on. It beautifully lays down the tenets of friendship and genuine concern.


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