Rejoicing at news of these and similar events is expected. Responding with good tidings is understood. If anything but the end result of rejoicing is given in response, then that usually means trouble. We’ve got trouble right here in social norm city.
Now, in this time of life I have friends who have experienced this lack of celebration. This lack makes them wonder “why”. Lack of support also indicates an impression of failure upon the individuals who are expecting something quite different. Perhaps people you know come to mind. Maybe you’re one of those people.
In regards to proposals, engagements, and marriages, people have historically believed themselves to be embarking on both monumental and good things. People do not often consider their involvement in these three things to be negative. Indeed, why should they?
In a time when these things are seen by many as avoidable life events, or at least as-long-as-possible avoidable life events, those who do want to be married experience an almost pro-con response by their friends and family. People release the news of an engagement to people both close in time and space to the amazement of watching those same people morph into judges and rulers. Like an absent parent who has discovered their child is successful.
“Have you thought this through?” They ask.
“Don’t you think this is too soon?” They suggest.
“I don’t think this is a good idea.” They decide.
But the people disposing this monumental information are not asking judges and rulers. Rejoicing and excitement are what they expect. Joyful tears should be the closest thing to a negative response that they get. Who tells of big life events to judges and rulers?
What they are looking for in all of this is support.
Support is often misunderstood for control. I support my church. I support my family. I support my friends. If there is no difference in your life should you replace support for control, than you may have the two confused.
Support is considering the best for someone other than yourself. Laying down the comfort of things not working out the way you think they ought to by helping out anyway is support.
Help may also be the absence of certain assistance. sometimes a person needs to be on their own to discover the best route home. Sometimes a person simply needs a nod and to be left alone.
Life is short. Time is best understood as the framework we operate in, not approval ratings by which we are constantly looking into the past. That means the best time for supporting your friends and family is in this life.
Do not be weary of life’s trials, especially those that come with big life events. But should we avoid the big life events, we will avoid the things that make us grow. The events we avoid in life ought to be the ones that stunt our growth, not the ones that make us grow.
Share the good news and hope for the day that all things will be made new. Praise the upworthy and celebrate your friend’s engagement. Who are you to preside over something that doesn’t involve you? If it is good then that will be made true. And if it is bad or foolish, then that too will be made clear as the framework of time permits.
But, you will never know either way should you push your friends and family away.
Support: It’s not just what I.T. does.