Right now, of all times, it seems as though we can all relate to each other more than we may have ever been able to in the past. It seems like every person that I comes across is going through some sort of struggle right now within their own lives. While some are struggling financially, others are struggling to save their health, while recent college graduates are struggling to find jobs during this economy rut that we are in. Either way you look at it, we are all fighting the same fight. We may not all be struggling in the same area but the feelings we are feeling are shared among many of us right now.

The economy has taken its toll not only on businesses, the housing market, our 401Ks and our stocks and bonds that we have been saving for years, but primarily our insides. We have been stressed out and, more often lately than not, have we been feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and alone. What we do not realize, however, is that we are not alone. In fact we share the same feeling that our neighbor is probably feeling.

How often have you thought that you are the only person in the world that is struggling right now? How often have you thought, "Am I missing something here because my neighbor just bought a car and seems to be doing just fine?" If we stop and think about it, however, we should be very thankful because all of our struggles could be a lot worse than they really are, and that there are people out there that are going through worse things than we are right now.

Let this be a time where we can all reflect on our lives and do good things for other people that may be feeling the same way we are feeling right now. If you know your neighbor just got laid off from his job just like you did, why not invite your neighbor over for dinner and you two can research jobs together so that neither one of you has to do it alone? Or if your friend just had to give up their car because they could not afford the payments anymore, instead of allowing them to walk, why don't you give them a ride, or better yet, save gas and walk with them?

We have forgotten that we are not the only ones on this earth that may be struggling, and we have forgotten the power of comfort. By truly showing someone that they do not have to feel like they have to face a struggle alone can make all the better difference. It may not solve the immediate problem of them finding a job or a place to live, but it can comfort their insides and eventually guide their outsides.

Right now the recession is giving us a ride and instead of just standing there and facing it on your own, why not ride the wave of the recession with someone else? I guarantee you it will make the other person feel better and give them comfort that one day they will overcome their struggles, and that everything will be OK, and it will make you feel good as well.

Tough times are not going to last forever. It defines character and makes you realize what kind of person you are and who you want to become. Instead of facing a challenge alone, why not do it with someone else? You are not only making yourself feel better by doing that, but you are giving another human being a feeling of comfort that they don't have to feel like they have to face their struggles alone anymore. And that is something no recession could ever take away from you.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle "Mikey" Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at www.myaskmikey.com or myaskmikey@yahoo.com.

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