The world has enough people acting badly, spewing negativity, and making life unpleasant for others – and every single one of them feels justified for doing so.
We can do better. In every single one of your encounters today – whether online or in the real world – look for ways to support & encourage people. Seek out opportunities to make others smile. And put in the effort to create memories worth having.
Remember that every person you encounter has feelings. And that sometimes the person you think might have no need for your kind words & encouragement is the one that could use them the most.
My heart goes out to every walking wound and broken heart who still chooses to be a source of light despite a world that repeatedly shows you darkness. Your struggles are rarely seen and the degree of pain you’ve experienced in life is felt by few. And as much as what you do goes unnoticed and unappreciated, you keep pushing forward with love, light, and kindness instead of apathy or darkness. You are truly heroes.
If the person representing your opinion or desired way of life is exhibiting signs of bad behavior when they do it, you can be certain that the majority of people the message is intended for will focus on the bad behavior and ignore the message.
You can cheer on the champions of your cause all you want, but if they’re not setting a good example when they represent your ideas, they’re doing more to ensure that your cause or organization will be perceived badly than they are in changing anyone’s mind.
Those who represent you aren’t doing you any favors if they’re not setting a good example when they do it. And if they’re communicating your ideas in a way that your opposition isn’t receptive to, you can be almost certain that the bad behavior is what they see, not the ideas.
Just because you agree with the message being shared doesn’t mean you should tolerate or ignore the bad behavior of the person conveying it.
What was the last kind thing someone did for you? What was the last kind thing you did for someone else? While life is not about keeping score, remaining mindful of the kindness & positive energy being channeled in & out of your life can have a dramatic effect on how you feel.
Some of the finest, most exemplary people you know of are still just people. And people have good days & bad days and boundaries & limits. Being a kind, tolerant, open-minded & empathetic person doesn’t mean you have to sit silent & put up with other people’s bullshit.
By their very nature, the most valuable people in your life provide you with something of value. And it’s wonderful. Now recognize that you have this same power to provide value to others & not just to people you know.
As one year ends and another begins, let us move forward with an open mind, an open heart, and enduring hope for the wondrous possibilities that lie before us.
But let us do so wisely and without blinders on.
Because although the year ahead may be great, it will not be without its challenges. We will be tested in ways we cannot foresee. But with every challenge comes an opportunity for us to demonstrate our strength, patience, tolerance, and resolve.
Every surprise that the coming year has in store for us is an opportunity to show that we’ve grown. That we’re stronger. And that we are ever bridging the gap between the person we are and the person we wish to be.
Let us remember that it is through the process of overcoming challenges that we develop strength. And that every time we face temptation, heartache, friction, or failure it is an opportunity for us to act in ways that we can be proud of.
No matter what life has in store for us, let this be a year of love, encouragement, and forgiveness — of others and ourselves.
Let it see us act bravely, boldly, and taking consistent action towards our goals. Let it see us correct our bad habits and add to our good ones — making us healthier, happier, and more capable of living the kind of life we desire. Let is see us push forward into the new year knowing that we are not only capable of handling every adversity that lies ahead, we can do so in a way that makes us better.
And because we know that life isn’t always easy, let us remember to not just be there for those that we know, but also for those that we don’t.