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Kill 'Em With Kindness: The presence of others brings personal strength

Recently, a friend of mine and I had a falling-out. We had been friends for around 13 years and had never enjoyed anyone’s presence as much as each other. I guess the saying, “Distance will make or break your friendship” is true. I also believe in the saying, “Time heals everything.”

Sitting in my room watching an extremely depressing episode of the show 8 Simple Rules, I began to realize the importance of the people that surround you. In the episode, a mother and her three kids received a phone call that their father had just died in a car accident. My father is still alive and well, but I do have friends without a father and I have seen and even been the one to grieve before over the loss of a loved one; needless to say, this episode really touched me.

The family on the show immediately became closer than ever. With that closeness came comfort, but also the truth. The last words one of the daughters said to her father were, “I hate you.” The others realized their last words weren’t of importance or dignity either.

This doesn’t mean that every phrase you say to someone should be “I love you.” This also doesn’t mean that you’re never allowed to feel or show anger, sadness, or even hatred. We have all had the moments where we have said things we wish we could take back and have acted completely out of character.  This episode proved one thing to me; it was a complete epiphany.

The reason most people (and I use the word “most” loosely) want comfort and someone, even a stranger, near them when something tragic happens is mostly to make themselves stronger. The comfort factor is also nice to have, but what you are subconsciously expecting from those people is strength.

The importance of friends and family is apparent when you are at your lowest possible point from death, self-harm, or any other issue you may be facing: They stand beside you. Out of human instinct, their presence makes you feel the need to be stronger. It’s nice to be needed, that’s why everyone is searching for his or her “soul mate” right? To know that forever and always they will be in love and feel needed, wanted and worthy.  People are stronger than they realize and that’s what those friends and family do for you in those desperate moments. Without knowing, they make you stronger with their love and presence.

Everyone will have a falling-out; a time where you might grow apart from someone you never thought you would; a time where you disappoint your parents or your idol. In these moments though, if you are smart, you will have already surrounded yourself with the right friends and family to pick you back up and bring forward that hidden strength every human has inside them.

As you shape yourself into who you want to be (if you’re not already doing so, Ohio University is probably the best place to begin this task), don’t forget the importance of the people around you. Distance may make or break a friendship or even a relationship, but at least if it breaks you others will be there to pick you back up.

Meagan Dixon is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. If you had the same epiphany after 8 Simple Rules, email her at

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