Unseen, unheard, invisible. Uncomfortable, unimportant.
We talk about priorities and goals. We set them out on paper or in Excel spreadsheets, we tell our friends about them maybe. We boast with how put together our lives are – at least in our heads. So how is it that we never really stick to them?
Something (or someone) becomes a priority only when it turns out to be urgent. It doesn’t seem to matter that it was important all along, as long as tending to it had not been pressing because of whatever deteriorating circumstances. Investing in it – effort, time, energy, patience – was not perceived as a priority among all the other sources of annoyance and stress that pull at us day in, day out.
One of the most tragic mistakes we make is taking for granted – things, people, our own lives and how many chances we will be granted in order to make up for when we’ve done wrong. Don’t even try to deny it. And don’t give me that accusatory look, like you’ve never done that, take a situation or someone’s mere presence for granted. We start doing it when we’re children and this kind of self entitlement just gets worse in adolescence and even as young adults; our poor parents are the first victims of our rotten approach.
Then slowly we begin to realise what mortality truly is and the finite nature of basically everything. It’s usually a sudden awakening. A parent falls ill and you realise they’re not quite young anymore, the peril of losing them by the hand of time’s cruelty is not as distant of a concept as it used to be. Then, on a cold autumn day, your last living grandparent passes away and the painful shortness of time becomes even more stringent.
It’s not as if others can escape the same ungrateful attitude – friends, lovers, siblings, colleagues. How easy it is to just accept someone’s love as given! Or to take people’s respect for you and their trust in you as something you deserve, not something you have to earn little by little, day by day.
We keep fooling ourselves we are forever and we’ll surely get yet another do over if we fail, if we disappoint, if we hurt the ones around either with our words, or with our actions and gestures. There’s a limit to the number of do overs we get, not one of them should be wasted by thinking there’ll be another one.
A kiss on the neck. A kiss on the lips. A certain kind of touch. A look that says you can’t get enough. An acknowledgement that we are all fallible and vulnerable in our own way, but that’s not a permission to take advantage of said vulnerability. An embrace without a particular reason. A smile right when you need one, so that you won’t feel like it’s all in vain, like your invisible and unimportant.
Kindness doesn’t hurt or take anything away from you. Humanity doesn’t cost. Not caring can cost too many hearts too much.