Sometimes when serious things are going on in the world around me I wonder, should I be writing about this?
On September 11, should I be writing something serious?
On Veterans Day and Memorial Day should the posts I write have something to do with those holidays?
Because this started as a humor blog. It was meant to be a bright spot. It wasn’t originally intended to be too deep or too serious.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s perceived as being disrespectful on those days if I choose not to address the subjects.
So I usually just go with my gut. If I’m feeling it, I write about. And if I’m not, I don’t.
I struggled with this after the attacks in Paris.
Since last Friday, my Facebook feed has been full of polarizing posts.
Sign this petition to ban Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
It is our responsibility to take care of all humans.
I haven’t addressed this topic because of that polarity. I’m afraid it would turn ugly just as my Facebook feed has.
But here is my thought. It starts with another of those somber topics.
I live less than a mile from the border of Newtown, Connecticut, the town where the shootings at Sandy Hook took place in 2012 where twenty first grade students and six staff members were killed.
That school was about 6 miles from my house.
So that tragedy hits very close to home for me and everyone in my town.
At the time, Number 4 was in first grade.
This year, Number 5 is in first grade.
And it is very difficult to look at the two of them without thinking, what if.
What if that had been Number 4? Or Number 5?
After the shootings, a former Sandy Hook student started a project called the 26 Days of Kindness, where she encouraged people to perform one random act of kindness for 26 days, in honor of a different victim on each of the 26 days.
Today is the first day of the 3rd annual 26 Days of Kindness event.
I know the tragedy in Sandy Hook might be a distant memory for some people. But the Paris attacks are not. And neither are the much less publicized bombings in Beirut.
This time of year, we become so concerned with finishing our shopping. With fitting all the parties in. With getting all our presents wrapped.
And in all the craziness, we forget to just be nice to each other.
Add in some terrorist attacks and, well, the kindness factor diminishes even more.
I don’t know if you have seen the video of the Parisian father reassuring his son after the attacks in Paris, but I can’t stop thinking about it.
They might have guns, but we have flowers.
Whatever side of the Syrian refugee fence you are on, I think we can all agree that committing to focusing on kindness for the next 26 days, for whatever reason, wouldn’t be a bad thing.
So I’d love for you to join me.
For the next 26 days, do something nice.
It doesn’t need to cost anything.
It doesn’t need to take a lot of time.
But you’d be amazed at how your outlook changes when rather than focusing on how angry you are or how scared you are or how frustrated you are or how tired you are, you focus on doing something kind for someone.
It will change your mood instantly. And it’s a high that lasts all day long.
Who couldn’t use a little bit of that?
I know I could.
Who knows, once you get to that last day, you might just decide you want to keep on going.
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Thank you for this beautiful post that made me cry.