"How we behave matters because within human society everything is contageous - sadness and anger, yes, but also patience and generosity. Which means we all have more influence than we realize." --Elizabeth Gilbert
This time of year, people are always talking about the "magic in the air." In fact, I overheard a woman last week who was laughing and telling another woman she was with that this feeling of magic is what she loves most about the season.
I began to reflect more deeply about what exactly that magic might be. And while the intricate displays of lights, the warmth of cozy fires, and the endless holiday gatherings surely help, it seemed to me that there was more to it. After all, it's magic.
Today, Chicago saw it's first snowfall of the year, and it was incredible how captivated people were by it, admittedly, myself included. As I was walking down the street, I began to notice people around me huddled closer than usual, sometimes holding hands, smiling at others as they passed by, and holding doors just a while longer as groups of people behind them made their way out of the flurries. In short, people seemed to be exuding a bit more kindness than I tend to witness throughout other months of the year.
And I couldn't help but wonder if that could be it - kindness - that magic we're always referring to. Could it be that we all just find it a little more appropriate to simply be kind to one other during the holiday season, giving off a feeling of magic? And if so, why not all year long?
Kindness, despite the season and despite its form, has the power to break down barriers and to move us. When we are shown kindness, it moves us to be better people ourselves, to give back, and even to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. It is a superpower, and we all have it. Kindness is an unexpected strength of emotion and character we all carry with us 365 days a year, yet often forget or choose not to practice it.
Kindness is a compassion that binds us together and is something we all need, so why not make the effort to utilize this strength not only this holiday season, but well into the next. Let's honor kindness when we see it, cherish it when we receive it, and always give more than we believe we have. Let's allow kindness to be our legacy as we live our lives not just for ourselves, but for others.
Because a little kindness can go a long way, sometimes spreading a seemingly simple act across the span of the globe. And in thinking about it this way, kindness gives us all the ability to make worldwide change every day.
Isn't that magical?
"Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't)." --James Baray