Over the past few months, I have learned, or I should say I have been reminded of how important it is to "show up"! I can't think of a better reputation than to be known as someone who is there when needed, sometimes without being asked. While showing up can take many forms, physically being present to support a family member, friend, or even a stranger in need is one of the purest forms of love and caring. Helping others is innate in most people, but it does take a conscious effort to hear, see, and most importantly, act on a call to action to show up for someone who is in need. The caring muscle is like any other muscle in the body, the more it is exercised, the stronger it gets.
Social media, with all its faults, has made it easy to send texts, emails, or some other form of DM with a caring note or one of many caring emojis (praying hands, caring heart etc). And I am not disparaging this at all, it takes effort and time to physically type the note and hit the key to make this happen; the seconds it takes to think through and send a DM counts! Any moment spent caring about someone else in thought and or in deed, is a good thing. Not that we should be keeping score of doing good and right by others, but it does matter, especially to those we show up for! It matters even more when someone shows up for you. A note of encouragement or even the lost art of making a phone call, goes a long way to help someone heal and or get through a challenging situation.
But physically showing up is a different level of caring and support. Adjusting or changing your rhythm of life to support someone in need is a special type of caring. Whether making flight reservations for a trip or driving across town for a hospital visit, it takes time and effort to change your daily routines to show up for someone else. Additionally, showing up may involve some cost, it can be a financial burden, or giving of your most valuable and irreplaceable resource--your time. But the benefits of showing up far outweigh any financial cost and the time should be considered time well spent. It's the human condition to primarily think about and focus on ourselves, to worry about what affects us directly ("there is no interest like self-interest"). But we also have a caring gene that allows us to get outside of ourselves and support others. We can't stop bad things from happening, but showing up and being there to help someone through a tough time makes a huge positive difference for all concerned--those supported and those providing the support!
True heroes are in the right place at the right time. They recognize that something must be done and simply do it! Heroes care and have a selfless attitude that allows them to recognize when someone needs help, and they quickly jump in to assist however possible. Be a true hero and show up for your family, show up for your friends, show up for your community and be there when needed. When you show up it means you care!