Calculating the value of people is simple; just put two perspectives.
Walking in to a room with sunshine in your hair and brilliance in your smile is easy. Anyone, and I mean anyone can fake a smile. I’ve met people who led their friends into believing they would die for them, with a single smile. Ridiculous.
So anyway. Picture yourself walking in with a bright smile (real or fake), meeting everyone around you, talking to people you’ve never met before, drinking it all in, living life or whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing.
Crack a joke or two. Be witty, clever, and charming.
Then sit back and watch.
People will start to gather like flies, in droves. Someone will tweak your hair, hug you from the side, shake your hand, or say something funny. Pretty soon, you’ll have a group of laughing, hilarious people saying things they don’t mean, and smiling like their lives depend on it. If an outsider looked in, they would think you have a ton of friends.
“You’re so social!”
“Everybody loves you!”
“You should be grateful for all the people you know!”
Now picture this in another way. Imagine yourself entering a room with a nervous, or sullen expression. You feel insecure, vulnerable, and there’s no sunshine in your hair. You can’t smile, you can’t talk, and you can’t really “socialize.” Something’s happened: you argued with your parents, failed a class, a relative passed away, anything. You sit back and look around. A friend or two passes by, and you greet them, wondering if they’ll know. They don’t. People look at you with glazed smiles, their gazes sliding over you, uninterested.
How many friends do you have now?
Think about it.
If there’s someone who has been patient throughout, someone who’s seen your worst and best, and still sticks to you like peanut butter to jelly, you take it. A sister, brother, parent, friend, partner, pet, or tree. Doesn’t matter. You love them to bits, and understand how unique this is. I realised this recently: five minutes ago. It’s rare that you find people who care, and care is a strong concept.
The inability to care about people shows a lack of basic humanity – who are you if you can’t help out someone who needs it? Selfishness and fake smiles will only get you so far.
So, whom would you take to a deserted island?