RUOK? Day - From the Chaplains
Coming up next Thursday is the annual RUOK? Day. Christian College has been involved with this initiative for a number of years now and we continue to champion their cause of encouraging meaningful conversations that start with a simple ‘Are you Okay?’
Each one of us has an inbuilt desire to belong and be connected. In other words, God has created us for relationship. We are in a world that SEEMS to be constantly connected through email, text and social media – however with all of the benefits that this brings, along with it comes some hard truths.
Despite this appearance of connectedness and belonging Eg. ‘Look at all my followers’, ‘See how many friends I have’, ‘How many likes do you think I can get for my photo?!’ our lives can lack face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life. When difficult times come, it can be hard to identify who we can really talk to and trust with our thoughts and feelings.
It is with this in mind, that we are supporting RUOK? Day. Every one of us, at some point in our life, needs support, needs someone to talk to, needs someone to genuinely take an interest in how we are doing. We believe that one simple question can change a life. We believe that a genuine conversation can change a mindset or a situation and encourage someone to ‘share the load’ or seek out support.
Each of us has a part to play in connecting with those around us. It is not our job to ‘fix’ people’s problems or to counsel them, however it is our job to ask, listen and encourage the people around us.
If this is new for you but you are keen to support and encourage the people around you, the RU OK? Day website gives some great tips:
1. Trust your gut – if you have a feeling that someone around you isn’t doing too well and just ‘isn’t themselves’ at the moment, trust that feeling and act on it.
2. Prepare yourself to ask the question – make sure you are personally in a good headspace and that you have the time and patience to genuinely listen. Remember that you aren’t there to ‘fix’ the problem, and accept that the person may not be ready to speak or may prefer to speak to someone else about it. Pick your moment wisely.
3. Have the conversation – Ask if they are doing OK, if they don’t want to talk, remind them that you are there to chat if and when they are ready. Listen without judgement, take what they say seriously and give them time to share. Offer them your support and encourage action – perhaps they need to see a professional.
4. Check in – make sure you check in with your friend after the conversation to see how they are doing. Genuine care and concern and a listening ear may be ALL your friend needs to walk through a difficult time in their life.
Take a moment this week to consider the people around you and how you can encourage and support them.
Parents – think about your children, and maybe take an extra moment to ask ‘How are you REALLY going?’
Let’s each take up the challenge to reach out to someone around us in a meaningful way. Or, if you are struggling with a situation in life at the moment, we encourage you to take up that offer of a cuppa and chat – it might just change your life.