After I wrote my post a few weeks ago about “How Are You” I was not sure what to expect or to even write next. To a large extent the writing was cathartic for me. As I was thinking through ideas, I had a conversation with a friend this morning. She shared with me that she had texted an acquaintance on Christmas day to wish him a Merry Christmas and make sure he was OK. She shared that her friend had a hard time being close to people and she wanted to ensure that he knew he was not alone in this world.
I knew that her act of kindness was genuine and that she did something that many people don’t do: she was proactive and reached out without any prompting.
What I found after my recent blog post was that it seemed to resonate and I received feedback from people that I never would have expected. That is not to say that these were complete strangers. They were people I knew, but not that I speak to with any kind of frequency. The messages were all positive and many of them were offering to get together and catch up. All of which were appreciated.
After my conversation with my friend today, I thought more about this post and where I wanted it to go. As I tried to gather my thoughts, I wrote and rewrote much of it a number of times. I have moved paragraphs up and down, changed tone, changed words, etc etc etc.; Trying to have it all make sense. But I realized that I was making it more complicated than it needed to. I found that all of what I was reflecting on was a simple idea: Be kind to others.
I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. It is not something that I have ever done, and this certainly is not a New Years post. But I find myself looking forward to 2019 and seeing what changes I should make and be cognizant of.
The road forward in our lives is not always clear and it is certainly is not straightforward. Each of us has hard days; and occasionally, we all have hard times. It is in these hard times that we need to know who we can reach out to. Who can we count on, who will support us and who will be kind. No one likes to complain, but sometimes we need to know who to look to for support.
Over this past year of changes for myself, I have come to discover who are “my people”. Those people that were kind and caring. Those who looked out for me, called and checked in without prompting. I also wonder though, whose “person” am I? Do I check in with enough frequency with people that I care about?
The answer is no, I already know that answer. My excuse is like everyone else’s. Life gets in the way; three kids, work, travel, etc etc etc. I clearly need to do better. That does not mean that I need to make dramatic changes. But when I have a few extra minutes, why don’t I send a text or make a quick call? Those small acts may make a big difference to someone I care out.
I don’t know what, if any, exchanges occurred when my friend sent her text messages on Christmas. But I can bet it made someone smile.
More smiles and more kindness in 2019 is a nice goal to have for sure.