My friends.... my absolute, closest friends... the ones who know my secrets, know my true pain, know my true joys...the ones I can simply relax with and be "me"...those are the people I hold closest to my heart after my family. Those friends are my chosen family (vs. the family I have been born into, or have given birth to myself) Those are the people I will go to the ends of the earth for if they were to need me to.
The rest of my friends and acquaintances I take to my heart as well. They are part of the circle that helps to make me who I am. They are the way I see and experience the world around me. When I see one of them in need, I do my best to help them help themselves to solve their issue; or perhaps I simply offer a shoulder.
As if that were not enough, I also volunteer with several civic organizations in my community. That volunteerism lends itself to a certain spirit of caring for people by itself. You cannot do a good job volunteering if you do not have the heart for it...you must care for the people you are serving. You must care about the cause you are serving.
This seems like a lot of people to care for, and it also sounds like I am somehow tooting my own horn. Far from it. I am not posting this so I can make make myself sound good; rather I am posting this to remind myself of all of the wonderful people I have in my life. Both on EP and off EP... :) I am blessed. :)