We often have a preconceived notion of what emotions should look like. There are many reasons for this. One is that we have become a very visual culture, one in which life unfolds in the best manner for a dramatic telling. We know what grief looks like because we watched in intimate Technicolor when Peter Parker cried over Ben. We know anger when Batman almost kills the joker during a fight. Our emotions have become something you can pay $12.50 to watch on the big screen.
Therefore, we know what being caring looks like. Except, not really. Often caring individuals are shown to be parents or lovers. Even then there are very few relationships that Hollywood manages to get correct.
If I asked you what being caring looks like what would your answer be? Holding up a boom-box? Kissing someone's forehead to check that they are sick? What about taking a friend out for a burger when you hear they have been sad for a while? Or making someone go exercising even when they don't want to? Or laying in bed with someone and just talking? Or sending someone Memes you know they like? Is this caring?
These last few things don't seem like an act of caring, at least not in the way we have been conditioned to see caring. However, in many ways, hanging out with your friends is a form of caring. When we are with people we care about, and when we are trying to be there for them, even if we are not doing the best job, we are helping them. It's important to remember that even the little things can brighten someone's day and make a person feel valued.
Recently, I have been feeling unexpectedly melancholic for the past few days. As a result, I don't want to get out of bed; I don't want to write or move. I just want to lay in bed and be melancholic. The responses from my family have been fantastic. There is an active effort of both pulling me from my bed but also giving me enough space to be sad. In some situations, just giving someone they space he or she needs is caring.
We often worry about our presences being unwanted or annoying. However, we cannot allow ourselves to stop us from reaching out because we have decided we are unwanted. Yet there is a something brave about reaching out. If you think for any reason your friend might need help then reaching out is the best thing you can do. It doesn't have to be big. It can be a small text. Just letting them know you think of them is essential. Some people tend to forget that those around them truly care.
We put more stock in big gestures than small ones. However, it is the tiny moments that create the foundation to build bigger mansions. Remember that a simple hello has the power to move mountains.