Today I cried. With the way my emotions have been running wild this week, that’s not necessarily a surprising thing. (If you follow me on Twitter, you know a little about what I’m talking about.) However, this morning’s tears are different. I just received an email that touched me to my very core. There’s something about getting that shocking dose of perspective that’ll really send you heading in a new direction.
You see, this morning I was beginning that downward spiral where I was letting one relatively small thing really bring me down. It was only 9:00 am and I was already feeling like this day was a lost cause. I was trying hard to pull myself out of my second “funk” of this week but was being rather unsuccessful. I sat down to check my email and read something that nearly broke my heart.
I’m going to try to be as vague as possible here for the sake of discretion. I received an email from an industry partner thanking our company for donating a couple of heaters and an electric blanket to her and her husband. Apparently her husband is terminally ill, and they’ve been in the hospital for over a week. They were coming home yesterday but would be doing so to no heat. I’ll spare you the details of the story, but rest assured that it was heart wrenching.
Now, I could take this story in the direction of how blessed I am to work for such a giving company. This is only one story of them/us giving back, of course. However, that’s not what this was about for me. Instead, it was a very sudden and harsh realization that my bad moods over the last week were very selfish and indeed pointless. While every little thing hasn’t gone my way lately, I have heat. I have a home to come home to everyday that’s filled with plenty of nice things…food to eat…and people that love me. Who cares that I couldn’t find the perfect outfit to wear this morning?! Who cares that every little detail of life isn’t going my way right now?? Practically every small thing that I’ve been upset about and fretting over the last few days is SO incredibly trivial. The fact of the matter is, I have a MILLION big and small things to be thankful for. Heat, for example.
During this month of thanks, I find this scenario even more heart-breaking. Each and every one of us passes someone on a daily basis that has troubles ten times more difficult than our own. Each and every day, we meet someone who we could help in even the tiniest of ways. However, most of the time we don’t. We don’t even know what’s going on in these people’s lives, and we do very little to reach out and actually make this world a better place.
So here’s my challenge. First, I challenge you to look around you and see what you can do to help. Whether big or small, you CAN do something to improve the lives of others. You don’t have to have a ton of money or time. Sometimes it’s as simple as a smile. Sometimes it’s just a kind word. There are no excuses for why each and every one of us aren’t doing something to reach out and help.
Secondly, as practically everyone I know is posting what they’re thankful for daily this month (I’m working on a similar blog post that’ll post this Friday.), I encourage you to really be thankful. It’s not enough to post something random on facebook every day. I really want you all to sit and think about how different your life could be. Sure, it’s not perfect. And sure, there are a million ways that each of our lives could be better. However, if you really sit and think about it, and I mean really think, you’re probably pretty lucky. You can probably think of at least 10 people who aren’t as fortunate as you are. So this next challenge is to, while we complete these daily posts of thanksgiving, try to really notice what all you have to be thankful for. Try to consider how infinitely worse your life could be. Try to be unequivocally grateful for having so many things to be thankful for.
Whatever you do throughout this holiday season, just don’t forget how lucky you are. Pay attention to ways that you can help your fellow man, and let’s do what we can to make this world a better place…even if it’s one person at a time.