Once we accept and become being responsible for ourselves, as noted in Part 1 of this series, we must continue to be this for ourselves because the next step is to realize that we are responsible for others.
I don’t necessarily mean for their day to day sustenance and upkeep (although that might prove to be the case at some point) but, rather, for their growth and support. I believe this also includes accepting them and ensuring that they know they belong and that they matter.
It is up to us and, as noted in the Introduction, we are that somebody who can help. Don’t expect that there will be someone else that will come along. There might be. But while you are with the other person in the moment you both find yourself in, be responsible for their well-being, even their happiness.
We sometimes hold ourselves aloof (I know I do) and think that the other person will be okay. Don’t assume that. Don’t allow the other person to pass you by without helping or encouraging in whatever way you can.
I know I sometimes walk past someone I can see needs help. Or maybe I think that there’s nothing that I can do. Don’t take that attitude. Turn around and see what you can do.
I think a wonderful way to think about this, for those of us with kids, is to extend to others the love that we extend to our kids. If we felt responsible for someone in this way then I know we can make a difference.
Our duty, not just to ourselves but to others, is to help each person grow. Leave them better than you found them. I think that’s fairly easy to remember. Don’t harm – help. Don’t try and get something from them but give something to them. And this is most often our time. Our ear. Our compassion.
Just think how someone who helped you made a difference. Now want to be that difference for someone else. Reach out instead of walling off.
I think that when we acknowledge that we are responsible for others, to helping them, we become more aware of everyone’s importance in the world. After all, we each want to belong and know that we matter.