Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – John Watson

Part of intentional living pushes the spotlight off your life and highlights the value of others. The quote from John Watson has changed my perspective. We often don’t know even a fraction of the struggles and hard decisions other people are facing.

Notice the people walking past you today. Do you notice how many people look weary and strained? Notice the bags under the eyes. Notice the slump in their shoulders. Notice the blank look in their eyes. It’s when we truly notice others that we start to see their God-given value worth protecting.

Who's in your corner of the ring - writetojoncook Jon Cook

It’s easy to get so caught up in our own little worlds and schedules. It’s easy to miss the struggle of those around us. Some of the heaviest burdens to carry are emotional, relational, and mental. It’s hard to see the intangible weights that may be crushing those we care about the most.

Everyone is in a fight. It may be a smaller battle, like a tough project at work. It may be a much larger battle, like beating cancer or the death of a loved one. It’s tough to see the budget fears, marriage struggles, problems with kids, pending layoffs, over-crowded schedule demands, and other heavy fights to overcome.

If you’ve ever watched a boxing match, you’ll notice there’s a group of people in each corner of the ring. Between rounds the fighters retreat to their corners and get swarmed by people. They shout encouragement. They give experienced insight, even calling out dumb mistakes the fighter just made. They patch up the fighter from the beating they just took.

In the prize-fighting ring of everyday life, the contender always needs a bigger cheering section. Each of us could always use one more person in our corner of the ring.

Today is about being an encouragement. Give your co-worker a hug around the shoulders (in a non-creepy way). Send someone an encouraging note. Pick up the phone and text or call someone to tell them you’re a fan of theirs.

If you’re in a battle of your own today and it feels overwhelming, reach out to someone. It may sound selfish, but it’s so good for your soul to know that you’re not alone. Confide in someone you know, like, and trust. Ask them to give you a little pep talk. And when they encourage you, find someone in need of a pep talk and share encouragement with them.

Find someone today who could use another person in their corner of the ring. Share an encouraging word. Pray for them. Help patch up their soul from whatever beating they just took. Listen to them. Let them know they’re not alone in their fight. Be in their corner of the ring.