I recently had an experience that made me start to think and ask myself how we got here. I put a call through to a friend, it had obviously been a while, and after the pleasantries, the person asked “So why are you really calling me? What do you need?” I was shocked!
Really? Must I call you only when I need something from you? I replied and said “Oh as I said earlier, I just called to check up on you and know how you are doing. I didn’t call because I needed anything.” The person goes “It’s a lie, I don’t believe that at all.” In my mind, I just laughed and I said my goodbyes and ended the call.
But this caused me to think, also because this same experience happened with another person too. You may want to say oh maybe you are well known for only calling people when you need something, but the opposite is the case actually. I probably haven’t called you to ask you for anything and then I disappear for the next couple of years. That’s not me, I am genuinely interested in the lives of others hence why I could have made a call like that.
Let’s focus on the matter at hand. I believe that these reactions that I got from these folks are based on their experiences with most of the people in their spheres and they have made it a rule. ‘People only call you when they need something from you.’ Time and again, these thoughts may have actually been cemented by their daily experiences.
How many times have you seen a message or a phone call coming in on your phone and you go “Oooh what does this person want from me?” Even if it’s not spoken out, a lot of the times, it is said inside. After making such a complaint, you pick the call and sound as polite as possible, you go through that call only hoping to listen for the need or request the person has to make. Now that’s not good enough.
It actually reflects negatively on all of us. It also shows us how much we have become SELFISH! Yes, you are selfish if when you only think of others is when you need something from them. If your contact list is only a list of people who you are keeping for when you’ll need them alone, not caring about any other thing going on in their lives, you are SELFISH!
Interestingly, I am not surprised, because more than ever, there are people who will not say a word to me for over 1 year and will suddenly come and jump into my space from nowhere requesting for the impossible. They are as direct as possible and don’t care.
“Hello sir, it’s been a while, please can I get 40k from you there, it’s really urgent”
In my mind, I am thinking ‘Oooh I am Mr supplier in your life, my job is only to help you when you are in need. You know nothing about my life, the current phase I am in, whether I even have a job or not.’
The truth is we have many people who are parasites in our lives. They suck you dry and give you nothing in return. I believe in evaluating relationships and friendships from time to time, be sure that you aren’t having a friendship because you are trying to be loyal or nice. What are you gaining in return for all your painstaking sacrifices?
The Bible says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Many of us till today just have the slogan in our heads and never live in the deep reality of what it means. This generation is all about me me me me!’ Many are even manipulating friends in order to later get things from them. A friend was recently relating to me how some people who helped him by giving him what should be a ‘free gift’, expected something much more as a result of their being nice to him in the first place.
You may fall into these shoes of those we term parasites or users. I believe we all have walked down this route at some point, we need to do better, honestly.
You hear words like “Check up on your friends before it’s too late” only when we lose them to depression or some sickness or accident. The truth is you were checking up to collect from them and not give any positive value to their lives.
Many people actually fall into depression because they realize they don’t have people who really care about them or have their interests at heart. They feel lonely in the world. If all you do is call people or message them ONLY because they look like those who can feed you or help you through your tough situation, you really need help! You are saying, you are only important to me based on what I can get from you. How else can you make them feel more alone?
When last did you call an old friend or contact to know how they are doing?. Yeah the truth is you don’t care enough, but low-key in your mind you are going to create those nice eulogies when they pass on 😑 Are you even sure you knew them?
We must learn to care about others deeply, like not just surface care. Sometimes call people frequently and know how they are doing, put yourself on the line and ask for what you can do for them. Take the initiative and see their needs, then meet those needs without taking permission from them. This is what loving your neighbor as yourself looks like, it’s taking responsibility for their needs.
One quote that changed my life is “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Many of us are trying to be advisers, ready to dump knowledge down people’s throats and solve their problems. Yet you find very few people sharing the truths of their lives with you. That’s simply because they don’t believe you care about them enough, to them you are a nice looking fraud, looking for who to make you look good. Others have trusted you at some point and you shattered their hopes or shared their secrets with others. Shame!
It’s time to do better. Stop viewing your contact list as just what it is, to contact people only when you have a need. How about giving someone a pleasant surprise? I called a woman I love very much recently, I call her mummy because that’s what she is to me and you need to hear how she was super excited to hear from me. I didn’t send her a million naira, I only made I know that I care and still appreciate her and it meant the world to her. I’ll surprise her again soon.
If we can learn to honestly check up on each other and look out for the good of our common man, life will surely become a better place. I understand that check-up calls can be boring or relatively short because there’s mostly not much to say if you haven’t spoken with the person for a while or if there are a few talking points, but it’s still worth it anyway.
Change the narrative of reaching out only when you need something in your sphere of influence to let them know you care, these little things we tend to overlook actually make all the difference.
Cheers to those who check up on me because they love me and are interested in my welfare. They know that if I look like I have it all figured out on the outside doesn’t mean it’s true, they are constantly there.
Appreciate those who are always there for you too, it matters. Don’t forget to check up on someone you know today and every other day, they could be friends or even family!
Thanks for reading