Was there a time when you were younger that you missed out on a relationship with someone whom you thought should be there? Be it because they were no longer in the living realm, because they chose not to be physically present in your universe, or someone who could have, just did not step up???
I am sure that when we look back we all have things that we wish we had relationally. Those relational, interactional things that can change your whole outlook on life.
I didn’t grow up with the type of family that I would have liked to when I look back over my life. I often wished I came from a close nit family, one where we all got together and did family celebrations and even just got together because we made time to do so, when it seemingly was no time. But I didn’t.
I also wished I had an older sister, brother, or even cousin that I could talk to, relate to, and grow up with. But I didn’t.
I really wish I had a relationship with my biological father, and that he would have talked to me, guided me, cared for me and even acted like he loved me. But he didn’t.
A lot of times, some of our greatest insecurities and wrong doings come from what we felt we lacked in relational terms.
The young girl whose promiscuous behavior could have been avoided if she had a father figure to validate her, encourage her, build her up, and even protect her.
The young man who turned to a gang to find some sort of “love” for the love he felt he lacked at home could have been avoided if only his parents would have tuned in to building their family instead of being in the room fighting all the time.
The person who doesn’t know how to get, maintain and keep healthy friendships because they never had any childhood practice from sibling or cousin relationships, might have turned out different if their mom set up what we now know as “playdates” to give them that peer level interaction.
In all of these scenarios, had a void been filled, the whole direction of that persons course could have been changed.
But then I also reflect on some of the people I remember who did change and shape me to be better, because they simply cared.
The teacher who knew when something wasn’t right with me and offered me time in her “break time” to sit and talk with me; the aunt who got me every weekend because her brother didn’t do what he was supposed to do; and even the friend that stood by my side and is always available when I need her, day or night.
They all have helped me be better….
I have a strong desire to be very in tune with my children, work hard at making sure they all find their “space” within our untraditional, blended family. I am also continually trying to be better as a parent to give them, what at least I feel, they need.
I always think of it as giving them what I wished I had and thought I needed in order to make better life choices and do different things.
But it’s not just in parenting. Just as people, if we find other people to take a interest in and be what they are lacking we help to build people, build relationships, and build up our communities. It seems these days we are filled with so many broken people, whose spirits have been crushed and no one took the time to notice, to care, or to help.
As a teacher you can be that one who makes a difference.
As a neighbor you can be the one that makes a difference.
As an aunt or uncle you can be that one who makes a difference.
As a friend you can be the one that makes a difference.
As a mentor you can be that person who makes a difference.
As a big brother or sister you can be that person that makes a difference.
As a person…. you can be the one who makes a difference if you just be to someone what you wish you had or needed.
When we build relationships, they in turn build us.
Even if you are not a parent, you have something to give. You can choose to be a mentor to a child who was once like you, you can help underprivileged children by becoming a tutor and positive educational example, or walk with another married woman who never saw a healthy marriage growing up.
These things change lives, build relationships and build up people.
A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained.
The list of ways with which it can be done is endless, but think about the impact that it could have made on your life and let that fuel your desire to do it for someone else.
It truly does take a village to raise a child, families to build communities, and love to change the world.your presence can make a difference in someone's life... Click To Tweet
I challenge you to be that some thing to someone else that you wish you had. While you may not know how to do it by example. You do know what you felt in lacking it and how it might have affected you; allow that to be your guide.