I have been having a hard time wishing others a Happy New Year.
So much both around me and ahead of us feels so unsettled.
I feel like I am holding my breath.
And, even in the best of circumstances, what I wish for others in the days ahead is so much more than happy.
One way others have told me they are dealing with a similar feeling is by turning off or turning inward. Not paying attention to what is happening in the world around them or focusing only on their own household. I can’t go there. Even though much of it is heartbreaking, what happens out there is important. And, it is important that I see it and know about it and grapple with it, because to ignore it is disaster.
Today, I realized part of what I need is some counter-balance to the headlines in the news. In my heart of hearts, I believe there is more goodness in the world than hatred. More kindness and caring than indifference and prejudice. But it takes intentionality and discipline to see it. So, beginning today each day I am going to write down three things which turn my eyes and my heart and my mind in that direction.
Here are my three for today.
- The folks at Antioch Baptist Church who, each year, plan and host a Martin Luther King Banquet whose theme this year is Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future. Their witness is inspiring.
- I spent some time today writing Thank you notes to several people who sent cards and a donation to the church at Christmas. One donation was in honor of an older woman who passed away last year. Each year she would send me a Christmas card and a note and a check for $100.00. This year her daughter sent a card on her mother’s behalf.
- I put the Christmas gifts we bought for my Mom in the basket where our high school students are collecting clothes for a Midnight Run this Friday evening. My Mom who is 87 doesn’t need much so for Christmas I bought her a sweatshirt and a winter hat and a pair of gloves. Someone who needs those items will receive them this Friday night.
In the days ahead there will certainly be more things to do, but for today I will do my best to pay attention.