Last week was a busy, difficult week for almost everyone I know. Underneath the busy days and long nights was a deep sadness.
Even if we didn’t want to think about, read about or watch news coverage of what happened in Connecticut, the sadness was still there, in stark contrast to what was supposed to be the joy of the season.
So many questions to ask — ranging from, “How can we prevent this from happening again?” to “How many sectors of our society do we need to change?”
The answers are complex, at best, and so hard to come by that few have the fortitude to tackle them, but we must. If we don’t try, we’ve lost the fight without even starting.
We can make this a better place to live. Of course, there is work to be done involving bureaucracies — but, as always, the place to start is with each and every one of us.
In this time of year, when most of us are able to be with the ones we love most, we can take the opportunity to face this next week with a different level of gratitude at the blessings of our lives. We can, for this week, vow to do things differently — to be the people we aspire to be.
We can sit a little longer at the table.
We can laugh a little louder with our brother.
We can be more generous with our sister.
We can hold our tongue longer with our father.
We can be gentler with our mother.
We can listen more to our children.
We can reconnect with old friends and show our appreciation to new ones.
We can watch television less. We can play board games more. We can take walks in the afternoons and look for birds on limbs bare. We can put together jigsaw puzzles.
We can get up and do it ourselves, rather than asking someone else to do it for us. We can exercise more and eat less. But when we do have the guilty pleasure of fast food or great coffee and find ourselves waiting in line at the drive-through, we can pay for the order of the person behind us. We can sit in easy chairs and take a nap or read a book.
We can read a book to a child. We can sing songs we love — and we can sing songs we don’t love because they’re the songs loved by people we love.
If we have to work during this part of the year, we can give an honest day’s work to our employers and leave work knowing we’ve done the right thing.
We can open our hearts fully to the people around us and give generously, without holding back.
This is the season, and this day will never pass again. The time is now.
Email Jan Risher at email@example.com.