2016 was kind of a kick in the head, I have to say. Not all of it. There were some truly wonderful parts. But there was also a fair amount of angst, unwelcome drama, sickness and some deaths that I still can’t wrap my brain around. (And not just the celebrity kind.) To be honest, there have been quite a few moments when it felt as if my very foundation was being shaken and cracked. Things I believed to be true, people I had chosen to believe in, disappointed me in that soul-crushing kind of way that only comes from smashed hopes. But…
There was also kindness. There were so many stunningly simple moments of kindness that took my breath away. Some days it was something as small as a receiving a text from someone who just wanted to say hi and send some joy. There were mystery flowers that appeared on my steps or a coffee someone bought for me just because they knew I needed a smile. I was blessed to watch my daughter cut her hair to donate it to kids with hair loss and then tell our 5 year old friend with alopecia that it was done in honor of her. I got to sit with my troop of Girl Scouts and make blankets for Project Linus, so kids in hospitals and shelters would have some extra comfort. And one day, it was arriving at school to pick up my youngest and having a friend just walk up to me and throw her arms around me, refusing to let go, knowing that I had been holding back tears. Those moments of kindness are what I want to remember.
In 2017, kindness is one of my primary missions. I want to spend each day performing small kindnesses and being aware of those little moments that make life beautiful. I think for many, thinking about the year ahead can bring fear and anxiety. Imagine how much smaller we can make those fears and anxiety if we fill the world with kindness.
“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place.” — R.J. Palacio in “Wonder”