Be a light

Jack Delaney

The title of this article may seem pretty self-explanatory, but I never really started thinking about what it truly meant until a few weeks ago. 

On November 13, 2020, a student at Iowa City Liberty High School passed away from a pulmonary embolism. She was a member of the dance team at Liberty. I was really shocked to read this and it was sad seeing someone who had the same love for dance that I did pass away. On the team’s Instagram page was a quote saying, “Be a light.” They said this described that girl perfectly.

This got me thinking. Have I been a light to others? Have I been the friend I want people to be for me? Have I been inclusive or exclusive? Have I shown positivity to people around me? 

Unfortunately, I cannot answer yes to all of those questions. Lately, I have not been a light for others. I have not been the friend I want others to be for me. I am not always the most inclusive. I haven’t always shown positivity to people around me. 

This is something that happens a lot in high school. We get wrapped up in what is going on in our own lives and we ask our friends to be the light for us but often cannot return the favor. This only makes my struggles worse. I have pushed away people who were trying to be a light in my life and help me because I was too wrapped up in what I was going through that I thought I could handle it myself.

I get so absorbed in the things I am going through, I start to sound so selfish that I cannot listen to someone else’s struggles because I am too focused on mine. I cannot be that light for someone else when I should. I have had to take time to refocus and put my stuff aside to be a source of support for others. 

With a new year just around the corner, everyone wants to better themselves and improve. However, it is still hard to be a light to people. So what can you do next year to change if you are in a similar position? Try to be more selfless. Pay for someone’s meal in the drive thru. Hold the door for someone at the store. If you see someone being sad, comfort them. Everyone has struggles, but we need to support others and put their needs in front of our own. It is not always easy but it is so rewarding when you can be that light and be that support for others. Always pay it forward.