What a week. What a week. WHAT A WEEK. Between the two tests I had, and the weather in Texas feeling too close to summer, I have felt very off. Despite little sleep and lots going on, there has been one word and characteristic on my mind: compassion.
Compassion was something that I had to study this past week for one of my exams, but I had been thinking about it since we first discussed it in class several weeks back. Compassion is a profound feeling plus a desired action. It’s offering supportive companionship in times of distress. Those who are compassionate in turn understand the importance of empathy. Empathy is having a deep understating of the feelings of others. I am not trying to talk highly of myself, but after learning and studying this characteristic, I believe I am a compassionate person. Possibly sometimes a little too compassionate...if that is a thing. This week while procrastinating I took this random Facebook quiz that was supposed to tell me “what you should take a break from” here is what it said: (see below)
Okay, not going to lie, I ending up sharing this because I feel like it was a somewhat accurate result. Regardless I am realizing that in my life I have a very hard time not caring for others or about things. it’s like I physically cannot. I don’t think it is a bad thing, but truthfully some days it makes me exhausted. I guess that is what you get for having a big heart. What I am learning is that I have a very hard time relating with those whom are not compassionate, which is why this topic covered in class was so eye-opening to me. Therefore, I figured I should share.
The first step to being more compassionate is communicating it. Hello!!! Welcome to the life of a strategic COMMUNICATIONS major with a COMMUNICATIONS studies minor. You can communicate with your friends and family verbally, nonverbally, or behaviorally. Here are some examples:
Identify with them and let them know you see what is going on.
Acknowledge their feelings.
Assure them of your companionship. “We’re in this together.”
Express hope. “It is not going to be easy, but we will get through this together.”
Provide assistance. “I will do anything I can to help you get through this.” *be committed
Pat them on the back
Be a good listener
Be physically present even if silence is all that is happening
Take them food or dessert.
Offer them a ride to the doctor if they are sick.
Send a kind text or call and leave a voicemail.
“What can I help you do?”
When you do these things, when you are compassionate, everyone will benefit. There will always be a positive effect. The recipient will feel released of stress and worry of whatever they are going through. They will or they should be deeply grateful. After going through something with someone it will grow your friendship in a great way and your bond will be stronger. Those who are showing compassion will have the sense that comes with doing the right thing. Nothing feels better.
Be a sensitive, caring friend who notices others and not just themselves. Always try and do what you can to make things better. This is how I have always felt, but reading it in a text book shocked me to know I was doing the right thing in showing compassion as much as possible. I also do know a thing or two about being disappointed when not receiving that compassion back when you need it. It’s disappointing and not fair, but a compassionate person should NEVER expect anything in return. Again, we should be compassionate because we know in our hears that it is the right thing to do.
Maybe I took some of this straight from my class notes, but I know my professor would be proud. I think about my friend Taylor who was so compassionate and I wanted to share what I was learning because I see a need in my life and in this world for my compassion. Think about it for a second...What is the most companionate thing you have ever done? Would you consider yourself a compassionate person? Take this and go out striving to be more compassionate to those around you. Compassion inspires compassion.
I am grateful that I could learn about this in a classroom. I am grateful to be a compassionate person. I am grateful that I can share this characteristic and its importance with you.
Empathy + compassion = a kind person.
Stay thankful. Be compassionate.
To quote my friend Claire Hargis, "One year later feels like one year and one day all at the same time." One year ago today many of us lost a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a best friend, a big, a little, a friend, and so much more. Taylor Helland was the biggest light of joy I have ever seen. In fact, I am convinced that one could catch her joy just by looking at her. She passed away after a long battle with cancer, but seeing her you would have never known. Her spirit was always so high and positive. To this day it still amazes me. I think about her often, but more recently since break because I myself have been struggling in different areas and I have tried so hard to be like Taylor.
One of the coolest things that has happened this year in my opinion is the choose joy shirts that were sold in her honor. She would have loved them! I don't know how many were sold, but they are all over campus always and each time it brings a smile to my face. People who didn't even know her wear them and I have had friends back home that have bought them. Her message is all over the place and I know she must be thrilled that she has made an impact well beyond one year ago today. When I am stressed, sad, or feel alone I wear one of my choose joy shirts and almost instantly feel this warmth. Taylor has still been a friend to me all the way from up above.
This past weekend I attended the Beta Keystone conference for the Southeast region in Tulsa, OK. On Saturday night I was walking down the hallway alone when I realized I had been locked outside of my room. At that moment these two guys came up to me and said, "Okay so this might be kind of weird, but we know you." I am instantly scrambling in my head trying to remember when I met them or how I knew them. They said, "We were best friends with Taylor Helland in high school. She was one of our great friends and she told us about you." Now it is probably not acceptable to cry at a fraternity conference (and I didn't), but I so could have. We chatted for a bit about her and over the course of the weekend exchanged numbers because they were from the Arkansas chapter so it was necessary. After I walked away I glanced up at the ceiling and said, "You planed that didn't you? What perfect timing my friend."
Taylor advocated a tremendous amount for other children with cancer. She spoke at several places and raised great awareness. One of her passions on campus was Dance Marathon, which benefits Cook Children's Hospital here in Fort Worth where Taylor received treatment. It has grown tremendously in the past year and it is taking place this weekend. I will be dancing 10 hours straight for Taylor--I am really hoping they play some Ed Sheeran-- and my goal is to raise $300.00. If you would like to donate (I would be so appreciative) please visit: http://events.dancemarathon.com/participant/sat
I have thought a lot about one of the last times I saw Taylor and I think I have it pinned down. It was sometime in the fall of 2015 while I was waiting for one of my friends in her apartment complex. She came running in and she was SO happy. I have the image in my head and it is very hard to describe, but she looked like she was having the best day of her life. Like nothing could get in her way. She was like that a lot, but there was something about this moment that will always stand out to me. She truly was a light. Anytime I would see Taylor, no matter how quick the interaction was, we would always ask each other what we were thankful for. We chatted for a moment and then before running off she said, "What are you thankful for today?" I sadly don't remember what I said, but in return I asked her and I will never forget what she said. Something along the lines of, "The people Cade. I couldn't be more grateful for the people in my life."
Taylor, you already know this, but your people miss you. I know you were watching, but tonight so many people who love and miss you showed up at the founders statue to celebrate a year of you being pain free and happier than ever. So many people. Your family, your friends, and many more. By the way you should be so impressed with Grace. She spoke with such poise and truth. You two are the greatest big/little there ever was hands down. We are all just so grateful for you and your impact. We miss you, but we are choosing joy because that is exactly what you taught us to do. I also really enjoyed finally getting to meet your parents. Gosh they are so strong and kind. Please keep looking over us all and continue to be a presence on this campus.
Since finally piecing together the last conversation Taylor and I had I have been trying my absolute hardest to be thankful for the people. There is so much more to life than fraternities, sororities, grades, tests, jobs, papers, fashion, pop culture, sports, and anything else that appears big in your life. At the end of the day the people in your life should be a high priority. Don't take them and their love for granted please. I certainly wish Taylor was still here. Be thankful for them like Taylor was. She loved and cared and cherished her people. I encourage you to do the same. Text them or call them and let them know how much they mean to you.
Grace, Taylor's little, said tonight, "I literally believe Taylor was an angel walking on earth." That statement could not be more accurate. She traded in one set of wings for another and had continued to bless us over and over. Please keep Taylor's friends and family in your prayers during this time. Though everyone is choosing joy it is still sad. Loved your loved ones. Love strangers. Love those who do not know how to love. Be thankful for this life. Be thankful for Taylor and her message. Choose Joy always.
One last thing Taylor, I have got this test tomorrow morning in good ole Moudy. Help me to do my best and to choose joy no matter how unprepared I feel. Thanks friend! See you soon!
Southern and Thankful
You may or may not be wondering what I have been doing with my time over the past week and I have got one word for you: flu. Yes, that is correct I had the flu and one week ago today I was feeling pretty much like death. I mean I don't know what death feels like, but I was feeling pretty bad. I woke up last Tuesday and I knew something was not right, but I heard my parents in my head:
"Do you know how many days I have gone to work not feeling well? Some days you aren't going to feel your best, but those are the days you have to get up and push on and you will feel better once you do." Or at least that is what they would have said in high school. But contrary to popular belief the voice in my head was all wrong. I got to class and the longer class went the worse I could feel myself getting. I had all the flu like symptoms the doc said but really all I knew was that I had a fever and when I get a fever you know things are not good.
I would just like to note that being away from home when sick is one of the worst things in the world. But huge thank you to my family and parents for doing their best to love and help from Arkansas.
I had never been to the TCU health center before, but when giving tours I always talk about how great I have heard it is. I can now confirm that it is so nice to have such sweet people on campus to take care of you. I went on Wednesday morning and tested positive for the flu. Now I was a tad surprised because my Dad unwillingly gave me my flu shot (I hate shots), but in case you were unaware you can get the flu even if you get the shot.
The worst part wasn't even how bad I felt it was all the things I had going on. From class, to giving tour tests, to 3 events over the weekend I really wasn't sure what I was going to do. But thankfully I was able to get almost all better by the weekend and still stick to the schedule.
Right now I am just very grateful to be flu free and feeling better. When you are sick it is really nice to see how many people care- you know who you are- so know I am thankful for you and your kindness. I encourage everyone to make sure they are washing their hands because you do not want to get the flu...trust me! Do not ever take being healthy for granted. I know I sure was reminded of that over the last week.
Lastly, I lost my phone on Saturday(another story for another post) therefore, if you need me message me on FB, e-mail me, or iMessage me. I will reply as long as I am on wifi (lol). I am telling you life is never dull for me!! But I swear it gives me that much more to be thankful!
Stay healthy. Stay close to your phone. Stay thankful!
Southern and Thankful
Today is a very special day for me. Today is a day that always brings a smile to my face and makes me grateful for a lot of things in my life. Today is February 6th and some would say this is a day that my life changed.
Three years ago today I visited TCU for the fourth time. It was Experience TCU, which is a day on campus for admitted students only. My parents and I were here as the time to make the college decision was fast approaching. I remember being so nervous about this when looking back I should have enjoyed it a little more. The possibilities are endless during that time and that was something I should not have been so afraid of. On this day at TCU it was snowing and icy everywhere. I also forgot a jacket, which was fun. At the end of the day my parents and I were discussing pro's and con's of the university (it was obvious my mom was team tcu) and I remember just having this feeling. TCU was where I wanted to call home and it was on February 6th that I was positive of that.
Two years ago I was a new member of Student Foundation and gave my first tour. It was such a crazy day. I remember looking back and thinking about how quickly time flies and how cool it was the amount of things I was able to do in just a year. Now I look back at all the tours I have given and the selfies I have taken my groups. Time is still flying, y'all. Giving that first tour I had this feeling come over me...the same feeling that I had felt just one year earlier.
Today I gave another tour (I have lost count at this point) with one of my frog campers turned good friend and yet again I was reminded of the feeling that always seems to come around on this day.
This reoccurring feeling is one I don't think I will ever forget. From that tour on February 6,2014, to this day I am constantly reminded why I chose TCU, but today especially. I could not decide before whether I wanted to go in state or out of state-that was the big question. For me, I wanted somewhere that I could really take a leap of faith and be adventurous. I wanted a place that I could call home and a place that would help me grow into the man I always wanted to be. A place that would aid in the development of my self confidence on a regular basis. A place that I would feel that it was okay to be myself. On this day I recognized that TCU was that place. I saw how everyone on campus was so nurturing and invested in the freshmen and I guess that feeling was the start of a lot of confident decisions for me. I get this same feeling as I walk around campus and give tours. And especially today seeing I am no longer the young one being poured in to as much, but I am now the one pouring into the younger students and that my friends is almost what you call full circle.
I thank TCU for helping me grow in ways that I never imagined. I thank you for welcoming me into this horned frog family and allowing me to do things everyday that I love. I thank you for the people that have invested in me and cared about me. I thank you for the relationships and friendships that started here and will continue well beyond my years on campus. I thank you for teaching in and out of the classroom. I thank you for giving me everything I could have imagined in a college experience, and then some. I thank you for constantly reminding me why I chose TCU, especially today. I thank you for February 6th...the day I felt what it was like to make one of the greatest decisions possible.
Go frogs. Go STUFO. Stay thankful!
Southern and Thankful
Alright I have a test tomorrow (still confused how that's possible) and I woke up super early this morning to study because that is like my prime time. I woke up at 7:00 and had till like 11:00. Good amount of time, right? For my test I have eight essay style questions, which my professor provided, and said five of them will be on the exam. Nice, huh? Basically I can craft my answers for all eight before hand. This morning I am up and at um just writing away. Around 8:00 while I am in the middle of question two I decided it is probably a good idea to save my work... this is where things go down hill.
If you have a mac you may be familiar with the spinning beach ball of death that is displayed when things aren't working right. I didn't really freak out at first. I closed it and then recovered it and tried to save again. And good news--- it did the same thing. I ended up losing my work and then spent a majority of 2 hours trying to fix it. I waited forever to talk to someone at Microsoft, but never got anyone. While I was waiting I got kind of mad. I was thinking to myself how I always try and help others and be kind- WHY CAN'T SOMEONE HELP ME. But y'all I quickly realized this is not the way to think.
Life is not about how many kind things we do or how many people we help. This is not something we should keep score on. If you do something nice you do it because you want to, out of the goodness of your heart, and you should never expect something in return. I began to this realize that I had been doing that in some areas of my life. Yes, it is disappointing when we feel like we aren't getting back what we put it, but honestly our world would be 10x more negative if people thought like this.
Would it have been nice for the company to help me? Yes, but they were helping other people and I have no right to be mad about that just because I felt entitled to some good karma. Go out and be kind. Put others first because you want to and know it is the right thing to do. Don't keep score- it will only bring unnecessary negativity. And be thankful that you have the opportunity to love and serve others.
Kind of weird how I came to this conclusion from an unhelpful company waiting line, but hey if it makes me grateful I am 100% okay with that. And yes, things worked out. I do have my test bright and early at 9:30 so pray if you would like. Be kind. Be considerate. Stay thankful!
Southern and Thankful
Blessed is an understatement when it comes to my life. Each and every day I am amazed by God's steadfast love. In return, I have claimed this space to show my thanks and whatever else comes along the way. A recent graduate from Texas Christian University who loves any creative insta post, all donuts, and dress pants that make you do a double take. I pray God has a grand purpose for me and I plan to get there with a little Southern and a lot of Thanks! Join me!