Why you should check on people you care about

In a beautiful song called “Give me your eyes” Brandon Heath sings:

Give me your eyes for just one second, give me your eyes so I can see,

Everything that I keep missing, give me your love for humanity.

In the song, Brandon expresses how we are often so caught up in a rat race and become completely oblivious to the hurting people around us.

Have you ever been so down and feeling dejected, and then someone smiles in your direction and it lightens you a bit?

Or maybe they asked if you were doing okay so your poured out your heart to them and it felt absolutely amazing?

The other day after sweating it out at the gym for one hour, I made my way to the house looking forward to a sumptuous dinner of left over cabbage with a slice of avocado.

This would be followed by a hot shower right before tucking in for the night…I have become a very boring adult nowadays. Work, class, gym, house; the cycle of my life.

So I got to the house, kicked off my shoes and made a beeline for the cabbage. Hardly had I settled down with my plate of deliciousness than the phone rang.

I peered on the screen and saw that it was my gym trainer calling. Sigh. I warily picked up the phone wondering what news the slave driver bore.

The problem with having an overactive imagination is that one intends to overthink everything.

Maybe he is quitting and wants to give me a heads-up. Oh no! That means I will end up being assigned another trainer.

But I don’t have great chemistry with the other trainers especially the bully who saunters around the gym with this scowl on his face.

I hope I don’t end up with the one who recently told me that I am starting to take shape. Surely, what was that all about? Even if I was round, that is a shape, no? Round shape.

Anyway, why is my trainer leaving? Now I have to go back to sucking in my tummy until I get comfortable with the new trainer, why do the good guys leave?”

These thoughts whizzed through my brain between the moment I received the call to just before he spoke.

“Hello my friend!” he boomed. His voice matches his toned arms — big and strong.

“Hey,” I replied, bracing myself for a major heartbreak.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes I am, I am fine.”

“Are you sure? You seemed a bit off today, distracted, even sad I think. I couldn’t help noticing that you weren’t your usual chatty self.”

Phew! he wasn’t going anywhere.

“Oh! It is nothing major just a little pressure here and there, school and work stuff. But it will soon smoothen over, no biggie”

“Great to hear that. Now take care of yourself. See you tomorrow for some serious cardio!”

A few minutes after he hung up I sat staring at the phone, the delicious cabbage momentarily forgotten. I was quite touched that he was able to pick that I wasn’t fine.

He was not wrong. In fact, I had anticipated the workout session all afternoon long. I hoped to shed off a few worries that have been gnawing on my mind.

After the workout, I did feel a whole lot better, energised and with a new resolve to keep pressing on.

However, that call to check on me had such an uplifting effect, that my problems seemed to lose their sting instantly.

As you can see from our conversation, we didn’t really talk much. I didn’t even disclose what was bothering me. Just knowing that someone cared to know if I am doing okay was all it took for my spirits to soar.

It got me thinking of all the people I interact with both in person or even online and how I hardly seek to find out if they are doing okay, especially when I notice that they seem a bit withdrawn.

Sometimes I make a mental note to check on them then I get swamped with chores and forget what I had purposed to do.

I am, more often than not, unaware of what’s going on with the people around me. This is very unfortunate because it fans a superficial kind of living where you become immune to the needs of others.

If the person who sits next to me at work or class or even someone I train with at the gym was going through a rough patch, would I be able to pick that and check in on them?

Would I lift their spirits by checking in on them and making them feel that someone cares?

To be honest, I don’t think I would notice promptly. What about you, how keen are you on the people with whom you interact with on a daily basis?

Are you like my trainer who saw beyond the glistening sweat that something was nagging me? Or are you uncertain about this, just as I am?

Well, I think it is time I became more aware of the people around me. And a good place to start would be by asking more often: Are you okay?