One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Holiday Mantra: Kindling Kindness

Let's be kind.  Not because Santa's watching.  Or even because God may be watching.  Not even because the neighbors are watching or because anyone is keeping a tally on kindness.  Let's be kind because it's the spirit of something greater.  It's the spirit we need in the flurry, the rush, the panic of commercialized Christmas.

I worry about the Christmas cards going out and the menorah being lit each night.  I try to get the tree up in time, the leaves raked and the greens hung around every corner.  I try to make the plans and the reservations.  To get the right holiday cheer into music, food, clothing, presents, gift wrap, phone calls, emails, presents, and adornments (not to mention ornaments), and presents.  Did I mention presents?

But what if I just let the hot cocoa get a little cold?  Let the pies burn and the yard look unkempt and untidy?  What if all that energy into being cheerful was actually used to rekindle kindness: the greatest cheer of all? What if I committed to being here with you and offering you kindness?

I think we are getting better at this.  At least this year, there weren't any deaths during black Friday shopping as parents vied for the last Tickle Me Elmo (or whatever is big this year).  And we've at least moved away from (however slowly) demanding a birth certificate from our President.  But we are still here; throwing spitballs in the Senate (while the jobless rate hits 9.8%), screaming obscenities at LeBron James for a team trade, and giving hell to TSA officials who surely aren't enjoying the pat down anymore than we are.

There are a lot of reasons for the season.  Perfection isn't a single one of them.  It feels so easy to get pulled into the frenzy and become biting and impatient.  So in the rush and the worry this year and all the excitement, which undoubtedly causes some anxiety, I am going to be kind.  I am going to take in a deep breath and be kind to myself, to my neighbor, to my loved ones and church.  It won't be perfect.  Not everything will be complete.  But there will be kindness; soul cheerfulness.  And perhaps, maybe, hope may return to us all, for a moment,  and for however brief, eclipse fear and hate.

In the meantime, I wrapping up kindness in all sorts of ways.

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