In early November I attended a networking conference where we alternated in sessions to share ideas with other attendees. In two of the sessions, we were asked to share a personal experience at our table so that others may get to know us better. A simple request for certain, but that exercise has weighed heavy on my soul because of life challenges shared with me by two of the participants.
I have no intention of sharing any details of these personal experiences but will say that as I listened to their stories, I felt foolish to complain about any hardship I have ever experienced. Fascinating to me in no small way, was that these two individuals had both become very successful after unthinkable personal tragedy. In different ways, however, they both found someone who cared when they needed it most. Charity ripped open an escape hole from their darkness.
December is almost here, and we are rapidly approaching the “giving season.” It is hectic and we all know it shouldn’t be, but yet it is so easy to forget what is truly important. It is difficult to not get wrapped up in our own lives and forget to practice the small attributes that can mean much to those around us. A kind word is never rejected and a thoughtful gesture is always appreciated.
In reality, we seldom know the personal difficulties that many around us are experiencing. As human beings, we have become very good at concealing the burdens that afflict us, yet those burdens can be often lightened through the simplest action of another.
This Christmas season, I would like to encourage everyone to be more attentive to those with whom we associate. It may require many of us to step above our normal character, greet everyone with a smile and always have a kind word available. As is often taught, our happiness is directly associated with the amount of concern and care we show to others. I believe this to be true, but it requires a genuine interest in others. We cannot identify the opportunity to be charitable unless we are truly committed to investing our interest in another.
Someone this season will need your kind words. They may need your charitable action. I am certain that your holiday season will be more memorable once you invest in the happiness of others.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and caring.
-Mayor Mark Johnson