If there was one sentence that could change the entire world and make it a better place, it would be this: “Be who you needed when you were younger.”
This powerful quote is so much more than compelling words. It summarizes the whole concept of humanity, empathy, and teamwork.
It is true that we all came into this world alone, but we weren’t meant to stay that way. We all have a purpose and are here for a reason, but we often forget that.
It is also true that we live in a modern, hectic world. We work hard, we pay bills, we look forward to spending our free time with our friends and family.
We’re in a constant race against time, thinking that we’re living our life to the fullest, meanwhile, we’re actually playing a game called surviving.
Non sibi soli homo vivit.
This is one of my favorite sayings. It means that a man does not live for himself only.
It took me some time to fully absorb these powerful, inspiring words and over the years they’ve become ever louder and stronger.
These words were like a melody playing in a hidden compartment in my brain, just waiting for its lyrics to make sense.
Indeed, we all came into this world alone, but we weren’t meant to isolate ourselves from human warmth, kind words, meaningful relationships, and compassion.
We’re meant to be the person we needed when we were younger!
Now, go back in time and think about when you were a teenager. How did you feel back then? Probably confused, lost, pressured, challenged, misunderstood?
I know for a fact that I hated authority, and I was constantly fighting with my parents, feeling like no one would ever understand me.
Now think about your first day of high school or college.
Can you recall the levels of severe anxiety before entering the classroom and then realizing that you didn’t know anyone and you were completely on your own.
How many times did you want to give an answer to a professor’s question but didn’t for fear of appearing too geeky among your peers or best friends?
How many times did you feel uncomfortable in a group of random friends or peers because they ignored you in a conversation as if you didn’t exist?
And how often did you cry because you were convinced that no one wanted to hang out with you and you’d be forever a legit “misfit.”
Do you remember all those times when the most beautiful thing at the end of the day was the fact that the day had finally ended?
Or when you’d upload the most badass pictures of yourself on social media in the hopes that someone would notice you and initiate contact, because that would mean the world to you?
How many times did someone say something behind your back that hurt your feelings and broke your trust?
Do you remember how it feels to cry your heart out because someone betrayed you or took you for granted?
Well, just like you, I remember those moments all too well.
I remember when people would laugh at me wearing heels because I was too skinny, so to them I looked ridiculous in high heels.
I remember when no one wanted to hang out with me because I was a highly introverted child, had mental health problems, and found it difficult to establish contact with other kids.
My only friend was a bear that I named Tedo (and I still have him even today, even though now I also have real friends!).
Back then I needed someone to share things with, to say how I felt about certain things without being judged for it.
So, I decided to share all of that with my bear. He never said anything to me in return, but he was a good listener.
He would silently absorb all of my words, making me feel less lonely in a world that has difficulties accepting introverted kids as “regular” ones.
When I look back at my younger self, I realize the things that I needed most were self-esteem, warmth, acceptance, friends, and a few kind words.
When I look at myself now, I realize that I still need all those things – just like you and every other single human being on earth.
No matter how confident you are at the moment, there is always some space for improving your self-esteem.
No matter how many friends you have, you can never be fed up with warmth, politeness, and acceptance.
But, we often forget that because we’re focused on other things that are “more important” to us at that moment.
We forget that only one smile can mean the world to someone who is having a bad day.
We judge others before even trying to understand them.
We’re focused only on ourselves because we don’t have time to help others.
We don’t notice all the little things because we’re only preoccupied with the big ones.
We live as if we are robots devoid of emotion and sympathy.
We forget that life is a process and that, by only focusing on goals, we neglect the entire process in the hopes that one day we’ll wake up to a world that will somehow magically be a better place.
But, the truth is: Change starts within you! Be who you needed when you were younger and you’ll start changing the world around you.
If every single one of us has contemplated all the times we were treated badly, ignored, and underestimated.
We’d never intentionally do the same thing to others or turn our backs on someone who’s feeling the same way.
In fact, a single human being has the capacity to change the entire world, because the more love and warmth we spread, the more it multiplies.
By showing compassion and loving unconditionally, we are evolving as a person and are helping others evolve.
Instead of acting bossy and competitive toward others (especially those who are younger than us), think about how they’d feel if we were friendly and approachable.
Or think of how you’d feel if someone older had to treat you as their friend who fully understands you. We could be someone who encourages others to never give up, no matter what.
We could give them some of the best advice ever and change their perspective on things.
One simple conversation can inspire someone to see the bigger picture and realize that they are exactly where they need to be at the moment.
Imagine you’re a stranger in a new city where you have no friends and no family.
You have only yourself and you’re dying to make new friends – or at least have someone to go for a walk or out for a drink with.
Now imagine that everyone you talk to is grumpy and uninterested in befriending you.
Would you feel disappointed and alienated? Would you want to be the person you needed when you were younger and disappointed? I bet you definitely would.
Whenever you encounter a stranger, keep in mind that you were a stranger as well at some point or you might be in the future.
Shower them with warmth, offer them a productive conversation, and ask them if they need something – because one day you’ll need the same treatment from others.
Did you have teachers in your school who didn’t believe that you were capable of achieving things?
Were you encircled by people who didn’t believe you have the capacity to do whatever you want only if you set your mind to it?
There are plenty of people feeling that way every single second, every single day. Don’t just pass them thinking that it’s none of your business and someone else will comfort or help them.
We, human beings, have wasted lots of time thinking that someone or something is none of our business and it’s high time we change that!
It’s high time we start noticing things and people around us and acting accordingly, because that’s what we ought to do.
We’re born to nourish teamwork, to help those in need, and to give a part of ourselves to humanity and the world we live in.
It’s time to tell those who are feeling sad that it will pass.
You’ve probably gone through all kinds of emotions, from uplifting to draining ones, and you know that they are not meaningless.
You know that everything happens for a reason and no matter how bad you are feeling today, tomorrow, a few days, weeks, or months from now, everything will make sense to you.
But, someone who is in pain at the moment doesn’t know that. They feel lonely, broken, and are gradually losing hope and trust in people. And that’s why you’re here to tell them that they are wrong!
You, just like me, are here to restore faith in humanity and to help others climb the same stairs we once climbed before. And that’s the real beauty of being who you needed when you were younger.
Not every single one of us has been lucky enough to feel unconditional parents’ love.
Lack of love can make children feel abandoned and unwanted, and turn them into future perfectionists thinking they are not worthy of love if they don’t earn it.
If you’ve been fortunate to experience unconditional love by your parents, then you know the amount of blessings you’ve had.
If you weren’t so lucky, then you know how hard it was for you to go through life feeling unloved and without support.
In both cases, you have the opportunity to implement your lessons into your daily life and future.
You have a chance to give unconditional love to others because you know how much it would’ve meant to you.
Be who you needed when you were younger and you’ll never need to question whether you’re on the right track.
You’ll live a life guided by your heart instead of blindly following the crowd.
“You have the power to make the world a better place by being kind to someone today.” – Joyce Meyer