Most Januarys we tell ourselves that the new year is going to be better than the year before. We promise ourselves that this year is different. This year we are going to stick to going to the gym four times a week, that we are going to eat way healthier, put more effort into our studies, spend less money, and the list goes on and on and on. But as we all know, now that it is already more than a week into the new year, a large portion of us have probably already done something that defies these new goals. Take myself for example, this weekend alone I spent money on going out for a friends birthday, ate pizza for breakfast, and left reading my first chapter of Managerial Economics, necessary for my Monday morning lecture, until Sunday night. Unfortunately, I’ve had some minor setbacks in regards to my resolutions this week but, on the bright side, I’ve recognized and addressed them here and am ready to move forward and not give up. New week, new me, right? Anyways, although this weekend wasn’t what someone would call an overall win, I think I’ve found or at least realized something that can make it a win in my own terms.
On top of the highs of pizza and birthday festivities, this weekend also had some mid and low points as well, and it’s with these points that I’ve realized that my time and efforts are better off working towards a new new year’s resolution. This resolution is something that I think we all subconsciously hope to get better at, but when we talk about what we want to achieve in the next year it falls through the cracks and never gets mentioned. This resolution is so important because it’s one of the reasons why being a human being is as amazing as it. This resolution is to be a more compassionate person.
This weekend, I got to see and spend a little time with a friend of mine I wasn’t able to see over the holidays. This friend was diagnosed with cancer almost a month ago and has obviously been moving through the testing and treatment process ever since. Although a completely different situation, considering cancer is not just one specific disease but ultimately hundreds, my sister and I fundamentally understand what my friend and his family are going through because six years earlier, almost to the day of his diagnosis, my sister was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and began her battle.
Because it was such a beautiful day out, we went for a walk where he was able to let my sister and I know how he was managing and feeling after his first chemo treatment and what the process is going to be like moving forward. After our initial Q & A period, the conversation began to naturally roll on to how his family was handling it all and how his friends were reacting. To no surprise, the amount of support he was receiving from his family and social circle was energizing and having a positive effect on him. He went on to tell us about how uplifting it was to receive supportive messages or calls from people he hadn’t talked to in a number of years when he knows he has a tough journey ahead, and even how strange and disappointing it was to not hear anything from others.
It was this part of the conversation that really made me start to think about how easy it is to be caring and compassionate towards someone and the positive effects it can have on that person’s attitude, spirit, energy, and overall mindset. I remember how much my sister appreciated those tiny acts of kindness and how they made her treatment process move a little bit easier. It can be something as simple as a hug, a smile or text message with a smile, but no matter what, it can show a person that they are not in it alone and have someone in their corner. Although completely unrealistic and overly ideal, think about what the world would be like if everyone treated each other with this level of compassion and love on a regular and continuous basis. Now to be honest, I don’t think that will ever happen but we can try. Or, at least we can focus on it and put the same amount of time and effort into it as we do trying to keep active, eat healthy, or achieve straight A’s.