The post on a recent Jack’s Winning Words blog had this advice – “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” (Charles Dickens). Jack went on to write: I read recently that loneliness is as much of a health risk as obesity and smoking. Holidays seem to make loneliness even worse. Perhaps you know of someone who could be cheered by a call or a letter. Why not act on that urge to “get in touch?” The Blues Brothers or The Stones, I like the song, “Everybody Needs Somebody.” The tune is catchy; the title is even better.
There is so much need in the world all around us that it can seem overwhelming at times, especially if you have little money that you can spare to donate; however, you do have something that can be more precious to others than your money and that is your time. If you can spare some of that to share with someone who is lonely, it could do more good than dropping an extra $5 in the collection bucket. Be that somebody.
We tend to think of the lonely as older people who might be trapped at home due to failing health and many do fit that description; however, the lonely can be of any age, sex or ethnicity. Many of those older people that we tend to stereotype in this group are still living in their own homes and tend to disappear behind closed doors. They may get visits by family members, if any are local; however, many spend hours or even days without anyone else to talk with. I’ve heard stories from many Meals on Wheels drivers about the fact that the elderly that they serve are as “hungry” for somebody to talk with and for interaction with other human beings as they are for the food that is being delivered. Be that somebody.
Think how isolated and lonely a refugee from a foreign land who was just relocated into your community might feel. They may not know anyone in the area, they might not speak the strange language being used all around them and they may have just come from a dangerous and violent environment. While we think that they should be happy to be here, they might, in fact, be shared to death by their strange surroundings and the many people who always seem to be staring at them. They need somebody to trust and to care and to listen to them. Be that somebody.
A recent issue of National Geographic is devoted to gender issues and the need to better understand those with gender identity issues that they might be working through. They are part of the community that is labeled GLBTQI (or whatever the latest string of letters may be). Just the fact that there is a label assigned demonstrates a societal need to separate them from the “rest of us” and that can, and for many does, lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. That is especially true for those in the stage before coming out in public about the issue. That can be a time of deep emotional conflict and insecurity that can cause them to be withdrawn and lonely. At that stage, they just need somebody to talk to about the conflict going on inside of them. Be that somebody.
After “coming out” or sharing their gender conflict publicly, the most important thing is acceptance, which I wrote about a while back in the post – Just Accept Me… Our society has a tendency to inadvertently (or much of the time advertently) shun these people by saying to them, “OK, well then, you go be with other people like you.” We tolerate them through ignoring them, as best that we can; when all that they really want is to be accepted and talked to and treated like everyone else. You can break the mold that society might want to cast you in by accepting them and treating them just like you would treat anyone else. Maybe they just need to have somebody “straight” to talk to about the issues created by their sexual choice or gender conflict. Be that somebody.
The fact is that we are all surrounded not just by needs for food and shelter and jobs and other things, but also by people in need of companionship or friendship or just someone to talk with. Oft times we don’t see that need or we don’t recognize it when we see it. It is easy to see the need of the guy standing on the corner with the cardboard sign that reads “Homeless, will work for food”. There aren’t people sitting next to him with their own signs that read “Isolated and lonely, need somebody to talk with”. Be that somebody.
If you want to help, volunteer at organizations like Meals on Wheels or Community Sharing (a local charity organization in my area) or just go to or call a local assisted living home in your area and ask about anyone in the home that may just need to have a visitor to talk with. I assure you that you will not find it hard those who need somebody. Be that somebody.
Sometimes “people of faith” just need a reminder about the right things to do, so here are a couple of passages –
But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. – John 3:17-18
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
You have the “goods” (your time) and you have the opportunity to show the love that Jesus talked about. Be that somebody.