empathy

Take a break from yourself to rediscover others

Painting by Herbert Moser

Painting by Herbert Moser

A year ago I’d have found it hard to ask people to connect to each other because I was only indulging in books and bending my neck over the different applications on my mobile and shutting off everyone I know and everyone I don’t .

But a year later, though not becoming the most sociable person ever or anything, I know I took some steps to create a life where there is actually some human connection.

It was a quote that made me think about my human interactions; it was the very famous “Life starts at the end of your comfort zone.”

That triggered it for me to confront the comfort zone that I’ve carefully created over the years, A zone where I have a few friends who have earned my trust — and i have to say it wasn’t easily earned at all. I wasn’t so willing to join any activity or do anything to get to know anyone new .

Back then just the idea of establishing a new relationship, getting to know people and risking the possibilities that these relationships wouldn’t work out terrified me, but I was going off to college, which is supposed to be a new phase and i had to reconsider my thoughts with a more mature outlook.

So I took my chances one day when someone started a conversation with me and I tried my best to not be off-putting and see what they had to say. She wanted to comment on the book i was holding, so I listened. Despite the fact that this one conversation was the only time we spoke, I remember her telling me something that day that was exactly the advice I was in need of at that time.

I took my chances later with making new friends and reaching out to ones i already have . I discovered that one’s fears of knowing people or trusting some and discovering later that they weren’t worthy of the trust were paralysing fears and that even if they ever turned out to be reality, they’re still way less subversive than living in a bubble just to avoid them. With every new friend you make and every old friend you reunite with you discover that everyone out there has something to offer, something to teach you and something you can teach them. It’s as though with every new connection you make a piece of the world’s puzzle falls in its place.

If you want my life advice it’d be to get out of your comfort zone and really connect to people.

Believe me, I know that life is great when you’re on that couch reading a book that you relate to or when you’re contented with the two minute chit-chat you have with a friend online so as to not get into serious stuff, but it’s much greater when you get outside and realize you have so much in common with those people of the world and that if you took an initiative and started establishing a connection with them ,they’d probably be waiting for that just as well.

So,it’s true you shouldn’t be creepy or force yourself into someone’s life but there’s a difference between that and between being cordial and we’re grown ups enough to know that difference.

So,the next time you find someone reading a book you used to read don’t be afraid to open up a discussion around the book, the next time you remember a friend of yours that you haven’t talked to in a while, rush to your phone and call them and set up a date for a meeting and go visit your folks, the ones that your busy life took you away from. Remember it’s so okay to stay picky when choosing your friends but still make a room for someone to actually be one .

There are going to be things that hurt you and you are going to know people who will teach you lessons the hard way and you may sometimes even think that you won’t talk to anyone anymore just to be safe but you don’t realize that sometimes what life is all about is to take risks and that some lessons won’t be learned unless through pain and that some of life’s greatest incidents — if not all — won’t happen to you if you don’t step out of your comfort zone aiming for them in the first place and remember we’re here in this life to communicate with one another not to close our doors over our lonely selves.

Mariem Sherif is an Egyptian medical student who believes that words can heal a wound, that in each and every one of us there is something special and that in details lies another great different life for those who notice.