My family was going through a difficult event. Relatives and my parents’ friends kept giving me ‘tips’ on handling it. Nobody cared to ask how I felt. I couldn’t focus on studies. I had no real friends. Well, it wasn’t my classmates’ fault. Nobody wanted to talk to me because I was such a bore. Everything about me spelt the word ‘L-O-S-E-R’.
He was the only one standing by my side. My true friend. When everyone ordered me to keep aside my feelings and focus on the greater good, he said, “that sucks. It’s shitty how elders are so apathetic.” I loved music, but Britney Spears and Enrique Iglesias rocked the charts in those days. And I hated them. So he introduced me to Metallica. It changed my life. It made me want to become a musician and quit engineering. My parents looked like they had seen the ghost in The Conjuring 2. Neighbors and relatives were horrified. But my friend said, “If you want to do it, you must do it.” He was with me when I bought my first electric guitar with my own money. He kept saying that I would do something big someday. Then we lost touch.
A few years ago, he lost his life. At the tender age of twenty six. The butterfly, whose flapping wings created a hurricane in my life, was gone. I didn’t get to know about it until two years after.
I miss him today. What’s more, he was deeply disturbed during the last few months of his life. He had been there for me when I needed him. But I wasn’t. I should have been there. I could have listened to him, made him feel better. Then again, maybe not. I didn’t have an open mind in those times. Maybe I would have made him feel worse. Because all I did was tell people what to do, disregarding their personal feelings. Only in the last five years have I grown internally, after adopting many lessons from MS Dhoni. But that’s not the point.
The point is, we must keep in touch with people who matter. Often, life happens. We drift apart. And we fondly cherish the friendship’s memories. But we don’t know what our distanced friend is going through. Does he need me? Is he wishing that I was around? Or is he wishing that someone was around? That someone could have been me.
Exercise common sense with this emotion. You can offer unconditional love by accepting people for who they are, not what you want them to be. But give it to the ones who deserve it. Don’t try to love at the expense of your own self esteem. Help people unconditionally. Let them use you once or twice. It’s okay. But if you notice a pattern, move away… without malice, without anger, resentment, or the feeling of revenge. Be like water. Some people doesn’t deserve you. It’s their loss. Accept it and move on.
Keeping in touch with others is a mark of successful people.
Don’t just keep in touch with people who matter because they can give something. Keep in touch because sometimes, you will give something… something that nobody else can offer. Be there for them. Your friends will thank life for sending a friend like you. Your butterfly wings can create a positive hurricane in their lives.
I’m guilty of not keeping in touch with people who care. Just because. It took a memory to make me realize how selfish I am. It’s not always about me. In fact, it almost never should be about me. I will step out of my comfort zone. I will keep in touch. I will ask people if I can do something for them. Will you?