A Little Help From My Friends

I recently wrote an essay for this blog about a group of outstanding teachers. Every word of it was true and I dedicated it to these self-sacrificing people who inspired my words. Three of them immediately responded with sincere gratitude. Of course that made my day, but I wondered why I had not heard from the fourth person. Surely she too had read it. I worried that perhaps I had offended her.

Alas, that was not true. In fact, she has been so dedicated to her role of assistant principal, that lately she simply has prioritized work above all else. In a state of sheer exhaustion, not to mention her e-mail account screaming that her in-box was full, she forced herself to clean it out, where she stumbled upon the story of herself and her colleagues. She sent me an e-mail, sharing her feelings, and this is some of what she said:

“I just wanted to say that on this day as I am battling  throbbing neck pain that just won’t go away (for the 8th day in a row), and as I avoid the stack of work that is growing by the minute behind me – I finally read your Charlie’s Angels blog and cried. Thanks for reminding me why I am still here in a school building that has gone to sleep, and giving me the umph I need to get back here tomorrow.”

I felt thrilled that she had finally found a chance to read it. And that she liked the post was like icing on the cake. But there were two more important messages that I took home from her e-mail to me.

The first was a personal message to me about why I write this blog. In case you wondered, I do so for many reasons: I enjoy creating something from the words percolating in my brain. It clears my head. It is great practice for other venues that I want to pursue in the future (like content writing, magazine articles, short stories and a novel). It is salvation in times of stress. But if I had to name the number one reason for writing this blog, it is because I feel that it is so important is to reach out to others and connect with them somehow, whether I know them or not.

The second message refers to the title of this piece. It has to do with friends and being supportive of them, helping them through rough times and celebrating the triumphs of their lives.  Sometimes I marvel at the technology around me and contemplate the possibilities that it holds for the different aspects of my life. Then I see how using technology often disconnects us from others. Do we really tell those we care about the most how we feel? Are we there for them when they need us, like in the songs, “Lean On Me”, “I’ll Be There” or “I’ll Be There For You”?

So readers, I implore you. Be the friend that your friend can rely on. If you are not eloquent with words or feel “verklempt” now and then, send your friend this blog. Let me be your Hallmark card. No matter how you choose to do it, just tell them. You never know what a difference your words  (or mine) might make in someone’s life.