16 November 2012

That one extra hug

A friend is currently suffering from cancer. A friend I’ve never met. A friend because it’s easy to tell he is a smart and kind guy, while also being a father of two. When I happen to encounter honest people who suffer in their flesh, I cannot but feel deeply affected. But it’s not about me here. It’s about pausing for a moment to reflect upon one’s life and think hard whether one has taken the time to be a real friend to fellow human beings, whether linked by blood ties or not.

Do we have to wait for them to be physically sick – knowing we will eventually all deteriorate? Are we taking the time to be present when they are sad and depressed? I am not here to moralise, at all. There’s nothing wrong in being selfish in living for oneself, whether most of the time or all the time. In fact, I know it can be pretty draining to even just lend a listening ear to someone in need. But I am here to stress that it can also be gratifying, sometimes procuring a sense of happiness, of usefulness or of purpose.

This friend happens to be an active Google+ user: Laurence Hubbard, pictured below*. I know he is appreciative of any type of support his friends and acquaintances can provide, from humour to prayers and +1s. You can get to know him and support him if you want – or you can think about the ones you love or the ones who suffer around you. What about simply giving them that one extra hug right now (or call them if you are far away at the moment) that will make you feel perhaps just a bit more happy and in any case will make you feel alive – by loving and being loved. Really do it. Give it a try. And don't thank me. Simply be happy to be alive.

* from his own post: “I got the bad news, in fact double the intensity. The cancer progress began on two different organs, pancreas and liver. So It's palliative care now, and a pretty short timeline. All the thoughts and good wishes have been overwhelming. If there's anything after this life, I'll hopefully be surprised, like playing center field for the San Francisco Giants.”

Updated: Laurence passed away on 29th December 2012.

Laurence Hubbard with his children