Loneliness does not play favorites. People can be lonely in a crowded room. Even those who are seemingly riding on top of the world or appear to have it all can feel extremely alone. They can struggle with feelings of isolation or feel crushed under the weight of some type of loss or hidden illness. The might have been forsaken, abandoned, or rejected. They might feel like an outcast—unloved and unwanted. They’re downtrodden and depressed, yet trying hard to hide it all behind an exhaustingly forced smile—one that’s just not sustainable, or healthy, or necessary. And though it might seem like they have troves of so-called friends, they might in fact be completely friendless with no one to turn to who truly cares about and understands them.
How do you know who these people are? Sometimes it’s obvious. But many times—most times—you’d never suspect that anything was wrong. That’s why it’s so important that we be kind and gentle to all who cross our path—always. We don’t know their story. We are not privy to their inner struggles. We’re not aware that though they’re smiling on the outside, they are actually drowning within. Though you might see them, do your best to truly see them. A friendly smile, a gentle touch, an encouraging word or two, an extra moment of our time, or even a simple acknowledgment of their very existence could be the tiniest ray of hope in a place where their light has all but gone out.
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