Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It takes a village…..or at least it’s better that way.

There are always at least two ways to do everything. Right or wrong. Good or bad. Alone or with others.

I like to do things with others. In fact, I am certain that my life is better because of all the people in it. I can say with certainty that as a person with a disability, my life is also easier because of all the people in it.

If I need help, someone is there to help. If I need someone to talk to, someone is there to listen. If I need a laugh, someone is there to play with or share a joke. When I am there to listen to someone else, than I know that I am of value to another person.

Having people in your life and being involved with others is a great reminder that you are alive and worthwhile. It can also help one forget about their troubles for awhile and that is always a good thing.

I recently read an article about isolation (InsideMS /Healthy Living / Isolation) that was written by my friend Alison Dale. It turns out that isolation is a pretty big problem in our MS community and is often a problem for anyone living with a chronic condition. I am guessing that it is a problem for many people without a chronic condition as well. (Isolation can lead to depression and that can be a serious problem. If you or someone you know suffers from depression, please get help.)

There are many reasons why and how a person becomes isolated. Some may have to do with physical limitations or disability. Some with fatigue and sometimes it is just the belief that no one understands or cares. Whatever the reason, isolation means being alone and being alone is no way too spend all of your time.

If you are alone and don’t want to be, do something about it. Call a friend and invite them over. Go to church or temple and find ways to get involved there. Join a club or service organization. Volunteer. There are hundreds of ways to get involved with others and millions of nice, caring people in the world. Finding them is not difficult. It just requires a little initiative.

If you are not a likeable person, become one. Learn to ask questions of and about others and listen to their answers. Practice gratitude. Say hello to strangers and learn to smile. You will get back what you put out and will soon find that you have created your own community.

If you are not alone, go find someone who is. Make a difference in someone else’s life. You will both be glad that you did.

Life is better when you have people to share it with. For some people that may mean marriage or family. For others, it may mean friends or belonging to a group.

Having a full, rich, meaningful life requires people to be in it. In my case, it takes (or at least I have) a village.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.