We have heard about terrible things going on in the world: the destruction of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, shootings and deaths, suffering, anger, fear and other emotions that go with such horrors.
Many of us are feeling useless right now, considering the tragedy laden news we hear everyday. Sometimes the pain and sadness in the world weighs heavily on my mind and heart just as it does on the minds and hearts of others.
What can we do to help the loss, pain, fear, and tragedy of the world? Nothing it seems! We can not save others from the pain and suffering they are enduring. Most of us, as individuals, do not have the money or ability to go somewhere to help them.
But we can do something. Most of us can never directly decrease the suffering in the world. Most of us are not called to be missionaries, doctor’s, teachers or even volunteers. If we are called to those goals, that is great. But not everyone is called to the “highest service.”
But most of us make a difference serving “where we are planted.” We serve by making the world better by helping others, being kind, thoughtful, compassionate, polite, donating our time, money (when we can); even donating unneeded items to thrift stores that help those who need a helping hand.
There are offerings we can make on their behalf; we can offer compassion to those who are suffering, prayers, sending positive energy and thoughts to them, holding space in time to think about them and consider their lives right now.
Last summer as I was leaving the grocery store. Suddenly an elderly woman who was waiting to be picked up by her relative, collapsed as her family member drove the car up to her. Within seconds one woman who was knowledgeable about emergency situations assessed her breathing and asked if she were hurt or having chest pain or shortness of breath.
I went inside to get a wheelchair or chair of some kind to get her off of the hot pavement and into the shade. Another woman was talking with the woman’s relative about calling EMS to come evaluate her. A very big, tall, strong young man came up and offered to help lift the lady into the chair just as it was brought out. I never saw such teamwork by a bunch of total strangers who would never see her or each other again. They had nothing to gain by helping this lady.
I felt such a wonderful feeling of pride in humanity, hope, and a sense that all will be well. If that many absolute strangers care enough for one helpless soul, who can do nothing to repay those who are using their time and energy to help her, how many more people are all around us who would help someone else in a similar situation?
On Facebook under my name, as on this blog I try to post cute, funny videos, pictures, or positive, inspiring quotes to maybe help brighten someone’s day. I can not save the world, but I can light my little candle to make a little more light where I am.
If someone else lets their candle shine, we have twice as much light. If one person helps brighten other people’s day, and those people help brighten someone else’s day, think of how many people can be affected by one person being kind, friendly, nice, polite or helpful starting ripples of kindness.
I am one of many who are trying to provide a balancing force against the darkness in the world. I truly love and have compassion for those who are suffering and try to demonstrate that love.
We all can make a difference in the lives of others everyday whether we are at home most of the day, on the computer, working, or eating out.
I have on occasion asked a customer service employee how their day has been. They often look shocked that someone acknowledged that they had feelings or were even human. Those who run the cash registers at large stores are especially surprised when a little concern for them as a human is shown, by a comment or question like, “Are you doing okay?” if they look sad or tired. “How has your day been?”, just to show you care.
Part of my quest to brighten other people’s day includes hugs, smiles, or some kind of acknowledgement that they exist. I have many times seen a big smile when a person is given a genuine smile and eye contact. Whether they are feeling gloomy or just tired, sometimes a warm smile can light a little candle of hope for the rest of the day and remind them there are good people in the world. You don’t always know or believe that you are needed, but you are needed. Be ready.