A couple months ago I went to a restaurant for a friend’s birthday. Our waiter was this fun-loving, positive person who was one of the best servers I have ever had in any restaurant. They seemed to have their life together, that they were okay. The server was excellent at their job, had a positive attitude; it was astonishing.
Recently I heard that this waiter was contemplating suicide. They had decided on when to do it and had a plan. He had shared with some people his plan to commit suicide and those people started telling him how much he meant to them. Before that moment, he felt unappreciated, unloved, and like no one cared about him. If those people hadn’t told him what he meant to them, he would have committed suicide.
Why does it take something so extreme for people to share how much someone means to them? If people would start telling people and showing them how much they mean to them, would people get to that point of wanting to end their lives? I’d like to tell you the answers to these questions, but I don’t know. I would argue that we invest in stocks, but we don’t invest in people.
Asking “how are you” has become meaningless like a greeting of “hello.” More often than not we ask it with no intent of knowing how the other person is honestly doing. We live in a society that is focused on “me” not “us,” “you,” or “them.” We need to stop asking selfishly but rather to invest in each other.
When people answer your question with one word answers, such as “fine,” “good,” and “okay,” I encourage you to ask “why”. This shows that you care rather than just are asking. This simple gesture of asking why shows the person that you care about them and that they are not meaningless to you.
What would happen if we started asking “why” and investing in people? People would stop feeling alone; they would feel like they mattered. I challenge you to start investing in people and asking questions. Ask people why they feel the way they do, don’t let someone tell you how they are doing without asking what made them feel that way. Show someone you care.
Invest in stocks, you’ll gain wealth. Invest in people, you’ll gain respect.