Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 25, 2014

Year has been far from joyous for columnist

Jan 17, 2014

By MEGAN COOPER

Mt. Pleasant News

Sitting here, I keep thinking about the very few days we’ve had in 2014. To say it has been a “joy” would be lying.

The year began with the typical “I will change that and that” attitude. A few self-improvements never hurt anyone.

Then, tragedy struck. And again. Now I wait for the third. Bad luck always comes in threes…right?

I did not know them well, just in passing, but close friends knew them. My heart aches for them, yet I know I don’t show it. Something about loss just freaks me out. (Wonder why?)

I never know what to say in those situations. How can you make someone feel better when their world is crashing down around them?

Then I thought…and I thought some more…the best way to be a “good friend” is just simply being there. To offer that shoulder to cry on, the ear to listen to and the voice of comfort.

I know loss. I have experienced it time and time again as I’m sure most of you have. In a time of loss, words are few and far between. Only so many “I’m sorrys” can be said before it loses its meaning.

But one thing I’ve learned with the losses in my life is that we cannot change it. We can either be bitter because a life is lost, or we can look for the good in it.

There is good in loss. It helps us to change, to grow and to learn the value of life around us. If we never lost, we would never understand what life means…or love.

A loss helps to look at things a little differently and to hold those we have a little closer, a little tighter and a little longer.

I know with the losses that have happened recently, I have stopped to think about those people in my life I rarely see. If they were gone tomorrow, would I have things left unsaid?

Probably. But I know I have the chance now to be a better friend and to say all the things I’ve wanted to say.

It shouldn’t take a loss for us to see the value in life, but sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing that it does take a loss to drive us back to reality and to what is important. I know I get wrapped up in things and don’t tell people what they mean to me when I should…I know we all have that.

So, I’m looking at the New Year and thinking about changes that could be made. Maybe they aren’t just physical changes, but changes that can actually bring meaning to life.

I encourage others to think about these changes as well. Perhaps it’s as simple as putting your cell phone down for a minute to listen to your four-year-old or to turn the TV off and talk with your spouse. Whatever the change you make, make sure it means something to you.

Value in life is what we should strive for. Not the amount of people we have on our “friends” list, but WHO is on our “friends” list.

Taking an extra minute to say “I’m sorry” or to think about what you say before you say it, could have a drastic change in your attitude.

I know I’m quick to come back with a snarky comment, as are many others. But if I took the time to think of something nice to say, wouldn’t life be that much better?

So, I guess what I’m trying to say with this column is be a good friend. If you can’t find the right words to say, then don’t say anything. Just be there. In the same room, offering whatever comfort is needed.

Think before you speak and value the little moments in life that are often overlooked by the hectic day-to-day life.

Find value in yourself and in those around you before you sit back and ask, what if?

See you around the community!

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