There are many occasions for which I listen to classical music. Generally, because I merely enjoy it. Sometimes to cleanse my mind of the trash playing on the radio. And always while writing. But then sometimes I listen to classical music because I feel particularly imbalanced in the head, and the notes seem to restore, even if temporarily, a peaceful balance. All of that to say, my Pandora has been frequenting my numerous classical stations lately.
So much is going on in the world today, with the refugee crisis in Syria, the school shooting in Oregon, a landslide in Guatemala, the flooding in France, and a typhoon in Asia. But there have also been good things going on, such as the two men who received a Nobel Prize for their advancements in treating malaria, which saves millions. Pope Francis, who has been touring the world spreading love and bringing awareness to poor. Also, the World Bank announced that the rate of extreme global poverty is expected to drop below 10% in 2015, for the first time ever.
This planet carries a heavy weight of constant changes, and its inhabitants are no different. The world has many “things going on,” and so do we. Our pasts, presents, and futures weave endlessly around one another creating a sometimes messy tangle. So this has me thinking of something I have been wanting to share for a while now. If you have a friend whose life is in limbo, or undergoing big changes, here are a few things they might want you to know:
1. Please stop asking such specific questions. When life is uncertain, we feel we are only capable of answering with vague responses. Sometimes the specifics are not yet known, and sometimes we are still trying to accept them.
2. Please don’t ask us to commit to things. We are living life one day a time; we can’t handle the pressure of committing to much more than sleeping and eating.
3. Moderate your well-intended “checking in” gestures. We know you mean well, but constantly reminding us that you’re thinking of us only adds to the pressure of how abnormal our lives currently are.
4. Thoughtful notes and tokens of friendship go a long way. It lets us know we are on your heart or mind, without requiring a response. And when a rough day comes along, we can go back to it and remember that you are there.
5. Please let us talk of unimportant things. Instead of hashing out the demands of life, let us talk of the things we share in common, or let us go to a movie and not talk at all. Sometimes just your presence is all we need.
When conversing with friends, co-workers, or strangers, I try to be mindful that I may not know the weight they are carrying, because we are all carrying a weight of some sort. Not all of our weights are negative, but even the positive ones can be heavy. And to all of those wonderful people whom I share life’s symphony with, thank you for being my peaceful balance.
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)