By Kenneth Stepp
“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one” – John Lennon
That’s me, I’m a dreamer. How about you? The song says, I’m not the only one, I believe that to be true. Everyone you meet today has a dream, a way life should be for them, a hope, a picture of something that means everything to them. I wish we would all remember that as we traverse this sea of singles. Every person along the way is valuable, everyone is as important as you. You may meet someone that makes less money than you, has less education, is in what is known as a lower station than you, shorter, heavier, etc, etc. That person matters. At some point in their life they were a mother, father, son, daughter, and meant the world to someone else. Treat them as if you see that whether you see it or not. Why? Because that worth is there, visible or not. He or she has a dream, they also live in reality… Just like you.
“Who doesn’t want to know that we notice them and value them? And who might respond to us better when they feel that they matter? It probably cannot be overstated – it matters…that people matter.” ― Steve Goodier
Years ago, in high school, I had a cool brother, he was the captain of the football team and had a reputation for being someone you really don’t want to mess with. I was two years younger and we looked a lot alike. So by extension, people left me alone and I had some cool going too. I was nothing like my big brother, but I rode on his coattails until I was out of school. There was a kid in my class, his name was Joe. He had no athleticism, was a bit effeminate, not attractive in the least and was picked on as long as I knew him.
I even found myself being a part of the crowd and jeering like the rest at times. I did not see Joe’s value at all. I was blinded to it because his value didn’t affect my life in the least, and there were times when he was the bunt of the joke that made me feel superior. One day Joe wasn’t there anymore. He hung himself the night before. I wish I could tell you that decades later this didn’t bother me, but it does. Kindness has a lasting effect on lives. So does unkindness. You cannot “undo” an unkind act. Practice being kind. I can still see Joe’s face… “Too often”
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato
Being single is hard. By the time I decided I had to leave my marriage of 24 years, I knew I was ready for what was to come. I wasn’t, and neither is anyone else. The regrets, loneliness, and the memories of being a vibrant member of an intact family are almost more than I can handle at times. And I am one of the strongest people I know. I miss the me I use to be. I had a great mentor once that gave me a gem of wisdom that has helped me when my memories attack me.
“The two men you can never compete with are the man you use to be and the man you thought you’d be” – George Warren
Both the old me and the wanted to be me are always there in the back of my mind. Some days, the competition is fierce. So why am I telling you a story from my past? So that you will remember to be kind. This sea of singles has wonderful people in it. Even the ones you do not see as important are important to someone. Guys, that girl you are “playing” with. She’s a daughter and probably a mother. Treat her like you’d want your mom or little girl treated. Ladies, that guy you go out with and “play” with because he has a great job, a bike, etc. Same thing. He is everything to someone. Treat him as if you know that.
In a world of self centered sociopaths, be the light someone needs today. Don’t darken someone’s dream. Create a better reality for all those you meet. If you cannot help another, don’t hurt them. We all have a dream, we all live in reality. Remember that everyone you meet deserves love and at some point in their life had love. Enjoy the journey but be kind along the way. Discover your dream, make it your reality. The more kind you are, the fewer regrets you will have. Loving is the goal… Behave like it.
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James