Elizabeth: A Reminder to be Kind

Happy or sad? Are you sure you can tell the difference? © Disney PhotoPass

Happy or sad? Are you sure you can tell the difference?
© Disney PhotoPass

As 2016 continues its bobsled race to the finish line, there’s a lot going on.  If the internet is any indication, there is a frenzy of shopping, baking, traveling and holiday-related socializing, not to mention end-of year work-related projects and deadlines to meet.

Andy Williams may sing that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year but that’s not true for everyone.

Among all that glittering gaiety, there are people who are tired, over-extended, stressed, lonely, and even depressed, so it’s a good time to take a step back, take a breath, and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

“Holidays can be a time when the things that trigger depression–grief, disputes, transitions–are in abundance” ~ The Dana Foundation

Though it is a myth that there is an increase in suicides during the holidays, it’s certainly true that some can find the time stressful.  Those who have lost loved ones may find the holidays especially difficult and those with few family or friends may increasingly lonely, especially when it seems that everyone else is out having a wonderful time (or pretending to).  Grief, social isolation, and even unrealistic expectations about how the holidays should be, can make even the brightest of days seem grey.

“The secret to happiness is low expectations” ~ Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice

So, if you see someone who seems to be having a difficult time, offer a helping hand; if you’re finding things overwhelming try reaching out to others; and above all, try to be kind, both to yourself and to others.    The world can be a challenging place to be in sometimes, but kindness can make things just a little brighter.

I’ll leave you with this video from the Cleveland Clinic on Empathy.  Though it was created for health care providers, it’s a good reminder for all of us that there can be a lot going on with people below the surface and everyone can use a little kindness.

Peace and joy to all.

2 thoughts on “Elizabeth: A Reminder to be Kind

  1. Happy Holidays, all! It’s snowing here, and looking totally Currier & Ives out my window right now.

    One of my lists had some grumpiness going on earlier this week, and it seems that one person even left. So, we managed to turn it around and got back on topic. But one of the bright, shining moments was when one member threatened us with terrible jokes, and I told her to not tease us, but let us see just how awful they were. Oh, what howlers! And I’ve been walking around with a smile on my face all day. The first one she posted: What do you get when you cross a kangaroo with a sheep? Woolly jumpers.

    Wah-ha-ha!! It brightened the tone of our conversation quite a bit, and it turned out that one woman had been searching for elephant jokes for her kids! Amazing, that kind of holiday serendipity! Elephant joke woman posted my new favorite joke: What’s the difference between broccoli and boogers? Children won’t eat broccoli.

    There’s a lot of terrible in the world; tragedy doesn’t take a break just for the holidays. But, we’ve got to admit, there’s a lot of fantastic in the world, as well.

    • Love the bad jokes, Michaeline. Sometimes that’s all it takes to lighten things up and provide a smile. One of the writers I follow on FaceBook has “Bad Joke Tuesday”; the jokes are indeed terrible, but they generally bring a smile nonetheless.

      I especially like your comment “there’s a lot of fantastic in the world, as well” – that’s something I’m really trying to remember these days, though it’s hard when the news and the internet insist on focusing on all that is negative.

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