Spreading Holiday Cheer

IMG_2001

A couple of nights ago I took holiday potpouri oranges to each of the neighbors closest to us.  I even gave one to a neighbor we have had issues with. Last night I filled out and mailed our holiday cards.  I feel at this time it is paramount to remember who we are, and what connects us on the most basic levels.  We’ve become so divided with all the horror that is going on right now.  I see it on social media every day.  People reveling in small victories, celebrating hatred with no care to who they’re hurting.   Families harming each other at the voting booth while smiling happily across the holiday table.  When did we stop being human? We all bleed, we all hurt, we all cry, we all get angry, we all want what we want, but most importantly we all LOVE.  I’ve been binge watching sappy Christmas movies on Netflix.  I need to feel good, even if it’s just for a couple of hours.  The hatred and vitriol that dominates the news feeds and social media is really getting to me.  There are good people doing good things, we’re just not hearing about it.  It doesn’t make headlines, generate enough page clicks.  So it’s up to us to spread kindness, and love, and to try to aid healing.  I’m not suggesting we not be woke and vigilant against the countless atrocious inhumanities plaguing our country at the moment, but that we focus on loving, living, healing, and spreading good cheer.  We have to recharge our batteries to fight the good fight.  We have to focus on the good to keep doing the hard work.  Sometimes a little kindness can help us reach across the table to hear and be heard.  We have to be the difference we want to see in others. I wish you all the best holiday whatever you celebrate, and a fabulous new year.  Celebrate LOVE!

Would you ever hug a total stranger… and mean it!?

1000Voices_zps11edff99

I mean a real hug where you are open and vulnerable and sharing your energy with someone in need.   One day I did.  This is my story and my contribution to 1000 voices for compassion.

We have become so disconnected in today’s society.  Touch (healing and soothing and sharing of energy) is something many of us have come to fear, especially from strangers.  We are compassionate to a point, and for many that point is compassion from a distance.  A safe distance.   Where do you draw those lines?  They are drawn in different places for each of us based on a myriad of reasons not the least of which, is the fear of being vulnerable ourselves.  I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and follow it and my gut with ardent fervor.  Sometimes this gets me into all sorts of mayhem, but most times it’s just the right thing to do. 🙂

One day my wife and I were returning from some errands in town and as we exited our vehicle in the driveway… we saw a young woman (I would say between 17-20) running down our sidewalk sobbing uncontrollably.  Without thinking I ran down the driveway to see where she was going.  My wife was right behind me with the same thoughts in her mind.  The young woman was almost to the corner already and even that far away we could still hear her sobs.  With a voice of authority that I didn’t know I had… I yelled to her “Hey…Come Here!”  To my surprise she turned and ran straight toward me.  Again without thinking I opened my arms and in seconds her broken, scared, wounded energy collided into mine.  I held her… and I whispered as she sobbed that it was going to be okay… she was going to be okay.  She sobbed and sobbed, but I could feel the transfer of hope as the sobbing began to fade.  We took her in the house, gave her some water and we let her make a phone call.  We don’t know who she called.  We didn’t ask what exactly was wrong.  We just offered her a safe place for a moment and a lifeline to whomever she needed to connect with.  She did, and she was grateful.  We offered her a ride, but now feeling better she chose to walk to her nearby destination… and poof she was gone.  We have not seen her before or since that strange encounter.  Some might say we were foolish to intervene on her behalf.  I know in my heart that she was somebody’s baby and I couldn’t leave her broken and vulnerable to whatever predator she might encounter before she could pull herself together.  I hope if I am ever that broken and vulnerable that someone would have that same kind of compassion for me.  I am not saying we should hug total strangers on a regular basis, and you definitely need to be careful who you invite into your home.  What I am saying is use your best judgment.  Sometimes a hug and a phone call can change someone’s life, and for us that day it was worth getting involved. There are so many little things we can do that can make huge differences in our little sections of the lily pond, and those ripples will have a much farther reach than we can imagine.  Make the world a better place..hug someone today..anyone…and mean it! 🙂

More from 1000 Voices speak for Compassion

1000 Voices for Compassion: A Stranger held me in the street

1000 Voices for Compassion: Wearing glasses tinted with judgment