The total history of almost anyone would shock almost everyone.-Mignon McLaughlin(1913-1983)

Social media is the epitome of deception in today’s world. Filters mask our insecurities and the pictures we choose to share are always forms of our happiest selves. I recently got in touch with one of my best friends whom I haven’t seen in a while. In our talks, I learned about what people have been up to since graduation. I learned of the many relationships lost or newly formed, those feeling stuck or have success stories, and how much has changed in such a short amount of time. I discovered very tragic and personal encounters my peers went through. I never thought these people I once sat next to in class had any battles to fight. Scrolling through Instagram, seeing the shining faces of my friends, it has not crossed my mind those smiles might have something to hide.

An eye-opening incident I witnessed involved two people arguing, and one called the other “weak” for having depression. The expression on her face was crushing. Never mock a pain you have not felt and understand people’s actions have meaning. It can seem at times that the world is against us or no one can possibly feel what we are feeling when we feel defeated. It is also hard for us to grasp the thought that there may be secrets others keep and internal struggles they may deal with. You never know what someone can be going through.

After catching up with my friend, it made me come to terms that no one lives a perfect life as social media makes it out to be. Some people are climbing there way out of hardships with a smile to cover it all. We must become more empathetic and sensitive towards others. Relationships can be enriched from simply reaching out and keeping in touch. Having an open mind and putting oneself in another situation can deepen your awareness of another’s troubles.

Reach out to an old friend. When someone discloses information to you, respect it. Learn to respond thoughtfully instead of giving an instant reaction. Remember that listening is the first step in being more empathetic.

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