three years ago i was sitting in a doctor's office being told "it's your acl...again." my brother and i then raced off to the airport as we were flying to melbourne to see fleetwood mac that night. i cried the entire flight. i cried whilst walking the streets of melbourne. and i cried in the cafe in which i poured my feelings into a blog post.
what struck me was that for the four hours in which i cried continuously, in front of many strangers, not one person stopped to ask if i was okay. if i needed a tissue, a hug, an ear.
now i get it - people don't want to intrude. i was a stranger - it's not like they had any affinity to me as a human or any reason to involve themselves in my life. so they didn't. but this is exactly what's wrong with society - we're so afraid of taking an interest, of being seen as intrusive, we would rather let our fellow human beings not only feel shit with what they're feeling, but also alone in what they're feeling.
as humans, we're failing. we're failing to fulfil the basic duties of being human. basic duties which include taking responsibility for those around us. showing up. taking an active interest. caring. when we ignore humans in distress, we're choosing comfort over connection. we're choosing fear over love.
this approach is costing us our lives. it's costing us our friendships, our relationships, our jobs. the rich keep getting richer and the poor, poorer. bullies keep bullying. all because we're afraid to get involved. afraid to get out of our comfort zone. not taking a stand is taking a stand - it's standing with the perpetrators.
when we stand up for others, it benefits us as well as the person we're standing up for. it gives us a purpose and it makes the other person feel protected and safe. let me be clear, i'm not asking you to involve yourself in others' day-to-day business, but i am calling for you to take responsibility for your peers on a basic, human level. if you see someone upset, ask them if they're okay. don't ignore them. the world needs more connection, more compassion, more active interest.
so, what is your passivity costing you?