It’s been an emotional week for a lot of people as yet another tragedy befalls us. The aftermath of hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes (and a pending volcano eruption) is still current and then we wake to news Monday morning of a mass murder.
Even the most steadfast among us can feel a little shaken. Please know that to best take care of you it is wise to limit your news viewing and social media scrolling. It also does no good to engage in debate or point fingers or recount a list of mass shootings in the US. One is one too many.
And we all agree on that.
THAT is what we are made of. We feel collective pain because at the core of us, we are all human; we all weep. Yet, we are made of strong stuff, truly. We are made of wise stuff, caring stuff, hurting stuff, compassionate stuff, resilient stuff, LOVE stuff. We are made of love.
If we were not, we would not be brought to tears when we hear word of dozens of strangers dying. We would not feel sick to our stomachs at such senselessness. And let us take comfort in that.
It does not make sense; therein lies my proof that we are made of the same stuff, love. It if did make sense, if we did just shrug and say “whatever,” then that would be a completely different story, wouldn’t it? But that’s not what happens. When we learn of something horrible (again my point, we all agree it is horrible), we ask “How can I help?”
Hundreds show up to donate blood, donate money, donate whatever caring or service they can. Our basic human instinct is to want to help. That is what we are made of.
If you ever stop and wonder where is the love, remember that it is EVERYWHERE. Now is the time to look for it, in every corner of your world. Take note of every small act of kindness. Build up a mental/emotional bank account of all the good you see in the world, your immediate world and the world at large.
The news shows us a disproportionate amount of terrible things. Counter that with the hundreds of wonderful things you see and feel every day. When a tragedy takes a huge withdrawal of your “faith in humanity” account, you will have enough deposits of good to outweigh it.
Every single day, look for the good. A mother and child laughing together at the grocery store. An old couple dancing. A butterfly landing on your shoulder. Your favorite song on the radio at just the right time. A text from a friend just to say hi. The server, the cashier, the teacher, the preacher, the nurse, the doctor, the neighbor, the mailman, the garbage man, the assistant, the CEO, the repair man, the plumber, the stranger in the car next to you, notice every gesture of kindness and goodwill.
Soak it in. Let it fill your cup.
Practice random acts of kindness so you can be someone who allows another to make a deposit into their good stuff account.
What are we made of? Incredible stuff. Kindness, compassion, grit, determination, humor, honesty, and love, sweet love.
We are not PollyAnna. We are not turning a blind eye. We also are not going to LIKE everyone. We will not understand everyone nor everything. But we can give love, especially to those who are hardest to love. And we must always give love to ourselves. So every single day, look for the good in you too. Build up that account with plenty of deposits.
Fred Rogers’ quote never gets old: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
In Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood and our own, you will always find people who are helping. THAT is what we are made of.