Writing today’s focus, I was struck by how it seems we need tragedy in order to remember to be kind to each other and treat each other as human beings. If it weren’t for today’s anniversary of 9/11, would the average person really stop and think about people who lost their lives in senseless violence? Would they say a prayer to the families and victims of hate crimes, injustices, and war if images of bloodshed weren’t streaming on our devices?
There are more acts of kindness today than ever before but not nearly enough so I’m dedicating today’s Friday’s Focus as a reminder to each one of us not to wait until there is war or violence or a catastrophic event to simply be kind to the next person, whether you know them or not.
The holidays of 2014 are in full swing with less than 2 weeks to Thanksgiving, 5 weeks until Hanukkah begins, then Christmas the week after, and finally New Year’s coming in with a blink of an eye only a week after that. Whew!
Barring natural disasters, there is no other time of the year that so much attention is given to the importance of family, friends, and loved ones and extending helping hands and kindness to strangers and those in need than during the holidays of November and December.
Volunteering suddenly goes up; donations to food kitchens rise; coat drives pop up; angel cards appear in town centers stapled to green-painted plywood trees, each denoting the age, sex and suggested gift for a child or senior in a shelter or a home; Toys for Tots bins sit ready and waiting in any given location throughout the city.
This is all wonderful and great and endearing, and it’s exactly these types of acts that help make the holidays feel special—showing and experiencing the kindness and generosity of the human heart and spirit; The way we should be with each other all year long and not just in November and December.
Let’s break through the amnesia that comes in January and continue to do something nice and thoughtful for the next person after the holidays. The calendar should not dictate when we need to offer a helping hand. Needing help doesn’t end after December and being nice, thoughtful, and considerate of the next person shouldn’t either.
Let the generosity of your spirit and depth of kindness for each other continue all year round. Coats may not be needed in June but food still is and basic necessities. Soup kitchens and shelters don’t close after April. Offering help and acts of kindness can take many forms regardless of the time of year.
Let’s take 2015 and make it the year of keeping it real. Keeping the real feelings of love, patience, tolerance, and kindness that we make such an effort to show during the Holiday Season and extend it to wherever it’s needed, to whomever it’s needed, regardless of the time of year.
Have a good weekend!
Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…
Those of you who have been following me know that I believe it’s the little things we do for ourselves and each other than can mean the most and brighten our days immeasurably. One of the simplest, and smallest things that we can do rests in the simple act of saying hello. It is courteous, respectful, and it is also the simplest act of acknowledgment we can give each other (“I see you”) that can make a difference in someone’s day.
So with today’s post, I’m saying Hello! to all of you, dear readers and beyond, and wish you all a wonderful day or evening ahead, depending on where you are in the world and when you read this!
Dobrý den (Croation)
Jo napot (Hungarian)
Góðan dag (Icelandic)
Ohayou gozaimasu (Japanese)
Salaam or do-rood (Persian)
Dzień dobry (Polish)
Oi, boas, olá or alô (Portugeuse)
Dobrý deň (Slovak)
Ia orana (Tahitian)
Dobriy ranuke (Ukranian)
Xin chào (Vietnamese)
Sholem aleikhem (Yiddish)
Taking this one small act deeper and taking this blog entry sideways!