You can choose to be a beam of light in the darkness.
As the cold descends on us and the dark envelops us, it is an opportunity to spread light wherever we can.
Glenna Crooks wrote a post yesterday about a woman who transformed the Girl Scouts organization into one that teaches and propels girls into how to lead, explore, embark on adventures and introduces them to all sorts of subjects to which they would never usually be exposed.
The wonderful tribute she wrote was posthumous, and it got me thinking.
You might be too busy right this minute as you get all the loose ends put to rest before you take some time over the holidays, but consider this: why not make a list of leaders in your life who might love to know that their hard work is being noticed?
We continually hear that there are no volunteers anymore. Really! I wonder why?
Could it be that the only thing they hear is invective from a public who thinks it’s okay to say anything to anyone and complains bitterly much of the time? No one wants to be on the hot seat of criticism – especially when they are doing something out of the goodness of their hearts.
When I am asked why I started this project, I sometimes reply that it seems to me that the world needs a big dose of encouragement right now.
Here’s the kicker – it requires everyone to take part.
We can no longer simply leave it up only to leaders who put on their bulletproof vests against the flak of criticism and get on with their day. This is a total participation deal.
Imagine the result if everyone took a little time to do this.
Miracles can happen. If you don’t believe this, then pick three people to thank in a way they will notice and be alert for two things: their reaction and how you feel afterward.
Choose people from a variety of places. You have plenty to choose from: community leaders, volunteers, your family doctor who cares, your accountant who gets you through tax time, the mechanic who always gives a little extra in service, the restaurant owner who makes you feel so welcome, the neighbor who organizes the Halloween parade and cookouts, the Salvation Army bell ringer who stands in the cold and maintains a smile throughout, your dog’s other mother – that friend, in fact, maybe all of them.
Well-deserved encouragement and appreciation ignite spirits and make everything and everyone a little better.
It does not have to be reserved for special occasions, but if you never think of it, then perhaps this holiday season is a good time to start.
This is not a competition for a trophy; it’s about two things: raising your awareness of others and starting a practice of appreciation which is a form of encouragement.
As the longest day approaches and we are enveloped in darkness, I call you to be that beam of light that has the power to transform everyone and everything in its path.