Think back to your younger self and what you could've used more of at that age where you were still figuring yourself out. Now, be that person.
I came across this quote on Instagram that had me stop scrolling and look at my screen for a VERY long time. The quote is "Be the person you needed when you were younger." And at first, I thought it was just a phrase encouraging us to be good people, but it's much deeper than that, isn't it? It goes beyond just being a good Samaritan and trying to make the world a better place. It's about trying to make YOUR world a better place.
Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
Remember when you were in elementary school, getting picked on by the other kids for wearing glasses or simply because you had a hard time reading in class? Or how about high school when you were hoping to ask that special someone to the dance but another person asked them instead and beat you to the punch? What about when you were in college, exploring this new world around you but struggling to find a job to help pay for the classes you weren't necessarily getting A's in?
It was tough, wasn't it?
Going through all these trials and tribulations, having no one to talk about it to because you felt that no one would understand you? You were convinced that you were different and that not a single person on the planet could get you? It can feel lonely at times, all you need is someone who you can not only relate to, but someone you can confide in. You just needed a hand to hold.
"Be gentle with yourself. You are doing the best you can." – Paulo Coehlo
It doesn't have to be a challenge
When I was younger, I was struggling with severe body image and self esteem issues, not to mention internalized racism and self hatred. Because of the environment I was in and the people around me, I was convinced that I was ugly and undesirable. That I would most likely end up alone and no one would want to spend a second of their time with me because of how I looked. It got to a point that I nearly developed an eating disorder in high school because I created this narrative in my head that the only way I could have value in this world is by looking good. I eventually came to my senses and stopped that behavior, but what if there was a way I could've prevented that?
"Be the person you needed when you were younger."
If only I had an older sister or mentor that spoke love and life into me. That filled me with words of encouragement and love. A person who would constantly remind me that my worth and value as a human being is tied to my character and how I treat the people around me, not in how I look. I reminisce on those days and just think of how different things could have been if someone was there to be my anchor and keep me grounded on the days where I didn't feel like myself.
I have that opportunity as an adult to be that person I needed when I was younger to the people I care about. Especially to the people that have gone through the same things I went through. It's empowering, being able to embody all the characteristic you needed in someone, to someone. Becoming that person that a young girl can come to when she needs guidance or just a listening ear. Also, being that someone who believes in you when no one else does, providing a sense of passion, drive and motivation to those who need it. Someone who reminds you when life throws a curveball at you that it isn't the end of the world and things do get better.
Time to look within yourself
The point is, the world that we live in would be a lot better if we did some self reflection and internalized all the attributes of the person we needed when we were younger. Be a mentor, push people in the right direction. Be a better friend, a better sibling, a better spouse.
Be the person you needed when you were younger.