By Melinda Gardner, Apple Pregnancy Care Center
I’ve been thinking about what the holidays will be like this year. It’s been such a wild year. This spring I actually began to keep a list of new vocabulary because there were so many new words and phrases. It’s been “unprecedented”. Wow – how many times have we heard that?
I’ve also been thinking about how many people are struggling. How angry some people are. How hard it is to keep calm and not become totally overwhelmed. Christmas is more than enough to make us overwhelmed if we’re not careful even in the best of times.
I’m really working on trying to find the best in things. Being grateful for my life, my family, my home, and for the ability to work. It’s something I need to be deliberate about. Checking my attitude. Not feeling the need to respond to everything that makes me upset. Turning off the news.
I heard recently that there are families who don’t agree politically, and it has destroyed their relationships. Adult children who won’t let their parents see the grandkids because they don’t agree on politics. I don’t agree with everyone in my family either but we have decided to “agree to disagree” and not let it destroy the love and care we have for each other.
Some of the people we serve at APPLE Pregnancy Care Center don’t have a lot of support from the people around them. It’s one of the reasons we are here: to encourage, teach, mentor, and reward them with the material things they need for their children. Treating people with kindness and compassion changes everything.
I just heard a story about a young woman who was having a bad day. She got on the bus and sat by an older woman. She bumped her and was rude and mean. After a little bit, the younger woman asked the older woman why she didn’t get mad at her. The woman said, “Life is short.” In her wisdom, she understood that retaliating, make a scene, and being angry would just make it worse. It takes a lot of energy to be so angry, doesn’t it? Her maturity changed the situation. Her kindness mattered.
What if we chose to be kind and thoughtful this holiday season? If we chose to have fun, accept people where they are, put on happy music and sing and dance?
We all need true community in our lives. We all need someone to listen to us talk through our problems – our joys and sorrows. We need someone to laugh with and even to cry with. It isn’t always easy to find, but you know it when you have it. What if we tried a little more kindness and gentleness in our relationships right now? When we love and support others, it changes things. I know that would be one thing I can get on board with.