V.A.C. #6- It takes a village

Happy Weekend Travellers,

It’s been a long one so far, too many things to do and not enough weekend, do you know what I mean? When you open today’s little door, there’s a little tiny person crowd, all smiling at you…because it takes a village of many people doing many small deeds to make this world work. Especially at Christmas time…

As we’ve established, I’m not so much a Christian, but I think there are finer small ideas in the story of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and the Manger that are worth remembering no matter what you ultimately believe. I think the most important part of these holidays is the part where you help others and it doesn’t have to be a HUGE give, it may be the smallest give that makes the biggest difference.

In that story, it’s mentioned how pregnant Mary and Joseph couldn’t find an Inn. And let’s remember this is before ladies went to hospitals to give birth to their babies..there were no doctors, no sterile little beds for their little heads. Think of all the babies born into the dirt in this world. Then and now…my point though, is the one kind soul in that story didn’t have a room, but offered them a manger, which is something. It was a small gesture of human kindness. And I’m gonna bet that soul definitely made it into heaven, am I right? Because he made a safe space for someone in need…And hello, son of God, if you let Jesus couch surf, I’m thinking you’re a shoe in…right? I joke, but I’m seriously, our smallest good deeds can change history sometimes…

Many years ago, I wanted to start a non-profit for this time of year and call it, “Christmas Actually” (yes, because of THAT movie..) and I didn’t hold fast to it because I could not for the life of me figure out how to orchestrate such an undertaking…the idea was essentially buy less stuff, and do more tiny good deeds or donate in your loved names to causes around the world or do volunteer work together…in many different non-profits names, many different dollar values, many different ways to contribute your time to others…SO this year, in honor of my unborn idea, I’m gonna suggest the following: DO ONE GOOD SMALL DEED EVERYDAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE TILL DECEMBER 30th…

The goal is to make your own tiny box of happy people, whose lives you touch with even the smallest act of kindness…okay, it could even be a large box of people by the time you are done….starting small seems less daunting. If ten people read this and you each do 20 acts of small kindnesses upon your fellow humankind, that’s a lot of kindness…

Try any of this: Donate any coins you have on you each time you pass a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, donate new or in good condition clothing items to any of your local organizations, volunteer your time at shelters, human and animal, because remember all those animals in the manager, son of God at home in the company of all the other souls of Earth…donate food to pantries, adopt a Christmas family, put up your neighbors Christmas tree, shovel their driveway, rake some leaves, help out in any small way like opening/holding open doors, complimenting strangers, pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks line/whatever drive thru line you are in, let someone cut in front of you in any kind of line ANYWHERE, leave little cheerful notes in random places for strangers to smile, buy your neighbors dog some treats, bake people cookies, just help each other is what I’m saying…honestly, the funny thing is, kindness and giving warm our souls and it tends to be circular…and it’s not always driven by money…

Which brings me to abit of my own story with accepting help and giving it…I’m notoriously bad at accepting help…it’s an upbringing issue, but today I realized it’s a shame issue, the choices my Mom made and how help was provided have been haunting me and in truth, this past month I’ve realized I can’t do everything on my own and maybe I’m not suppose to…

Over the past ten years, I’ve grown my own make shift family who have all shown up for me since my divorce and it’s more than enough…my second set of parents have gifted me a new washing machine for Christmas because one month ago, mine broke…a closet door fell on my dog’s head and then the furnace died…my home has been busy breaking, but one by one things are being put back together, differently but together…my like Mom had said to me that she knew how I felt about help and would gladly do so if I agreed to it…then she said this, her Mom had been generous with them and told her to do the same for someone someday, that was repayment enough…my Dad is also helping me and again, I just never wanted to need help…and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment, but weren’t we meant to help each other?

Last week, I got a call from a long time client who is moving into assisted living. She’s been with me for as long as I’ve worked in my position. She’s lovely, like Hellen Mirren only 90, looking 75 and just a person I am blessed to have met and known. As we’re talking, she said she wanted to thank me. She thanked me for everything I’ve done for her and for listening to her and talking to her and I said it was my privilege. And it is, but in that moment I realized, while crying for some reason?, I am fortunate to have a job where I can help someone everyday and most of the time, it’s just listening.

That’s my last suggestion, give people your time to listen. Volunteer in a retirement setting, so many of them just want a person to listen and the stories our elders have to tell are the best. The world before us is something I think we are all meant to carry forward, we are the vessels of our history. I’ve heard many stories over the course of my job and it reminds me of time where people were kinder, took time for one another and it could be that way again.

You could also volunteer in hospitals to visit or really, just ask around…people always need people…

Good deeds=good feels=rooms & rooms full of smiling humans, GO GET ‘EM!!!

And of course, there’s THIS SONG…there’s no Christmas without that song, is there?

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