11.16.2012

But The Greatest Of These Is Love

It's the holidays, and everywhere I look in my personal life, I see so much love, family, support, kindness and so much good. My kids are happy and healthy and they will have a Christmas filled with all the aforementioned and presents. We didn't go all out this year, in fact we kept their gift giving pretty small, but the fact is, unlike so many other children, my kids will have something to open. So many kids will have nothing this Christmas. 

And that breaks. my. heart.

So many people won't have anyone to spend the holidays with. They will be home alone on Thanksgiving, eating solo at a diner or standing in line at a homeless shelter. We may pass these people every day and not know it. They could be the person in front of us in traffic, driving too slow, too fast, maybe taking a few extra seconds to realize the light in front of them turned green, so if we could all think about that before angrily honking our horn or driving by and shaking our finger at them. They could be the person who bumps into us in a crowded store and makes us drop all our gifts we were taking to the register. Before yelling at them to "watch where you're going," we could instead smile and say "pardon me." A little kid who is acting up at the childs play area could very well be a little kid who won't see a single present this Christmas and won't get a chance to sit on Santa's lap. We should remember that, and not be quick to judge or act in anger or frustration. 

I think this holiday season we should go even further then that. To not just stand back and stop ourselves from acting in anger, but to reach out more. Say hello and smile more to strangers we pass, offer to return someones cart in the grocery parking lot, pay for the persons order behind us at the Starbucks drive-thru, hold the door open for someone even if they are just far enough away that you could let it close behind you.

To extend grace

To realize that maybe, just maybe, the person who seems like they deserve it the least, need love and compassion the most. Actions are powerful, yes, but words are paramount. Watch your words. You never know what it could mean to someone. I can tell you there have been very specific times in my life, that I remember vividly like it happened yesterday, where I was completely overwhelmed, felt like I wanted to curl up in ball and cry myself into oblivion, when a complete stranger said something to me, reached out and said something. They didn't have to, but they did. It may have been simple to them, but it meant the world to me. There are people out there who feel like no one in this world cares about them, and as someone who has no idea what that feels like, I don't want to contribute to that feeling for anyone. It literally hurts my heart to think of the deep, deep pain and loneliness that others feel (except murderers and child molesters, I hope they burn in hell. Just had to throw that one out there) and I think we as human beings have a responsibility to be good people. To build others up and not tear them down. 

It's important.

Because as one very wise person once said, BE KIND. FOR EVERYONE YOU MEET IS FIGHTING A HARD BATTLE.

ps. Want to read another awesome blog post on this subject? Check it out here.

pps. I'm still getting lots of amazing comments on my "If You're Crazy And You Know It Shake Your Meds" post. If it's something you're interested in, you can read here.

31 comments

  1. Beautifully said, girl. I share the same sentiments....extending grace is such an easy thing to do- we should all be conscious to do it more often, especially during the holidays when there are so many people less fortunate than ourselves.

    I went to a funeral a few years ago for a friend who took his own life. It was shocking...he was the life of the party. Always vibrant and full of life. Never without a smile.

    His brother eulogized him and what he said resonated with me, and I've carried it with me every single day since then. Be kind to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting their own cosmic struggle. Essentially the same thing you closed this post with. And it is such truth.

    Thanks for such an inspirational post this morning <3

    xo-Katie

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  2. This is so true! So sad that some kids won't have Christmas. My Sister in law is fostering a baby girl who used to eat out of the trash, and was neglected by her Mother, so sad =( I made sure to get her a cute gift already, for her Christmas! Breaks my heart.

    =)


    Brooke

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  3. This is such a sweet post and such a great reminder. We all need to learn to slow down in our crazy lives and remember that we actually deal with human beings every day.

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  4. I love this so much. One of the hardest things for me in the holiday season is to juggle giving to those who need it - and giving to those who already have. My cup runneth over and one of the best parts about that is I am able to give to others. Last year I asked for everyone in my family to give to someone in need rather than to buy for me (i'm not bragging about this, ps) but everyone still felt like they had to give me a gift on top of that - I spent the whole holiday season frustrated because of it. I just wish everyone felt this way, and was able to see that there are so many, maybe even people in their friend circle, at their work, or their neighbor who could use a little cheer this season.

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  5. This is absolutely amazing!! I hope more people read this and really take it to heart because it is so important to extend grace and take the time to truly care for others!

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  6. You are more amazing to me everyday Raven! Your kind heart shines! I agree that people time of year can be harsh and rude. It's not just the holidays it's any time of year. I'm sure it's worse during the holidays and if any of your readers can make a difference and be kind and less judgemental, that will be one less sour puss in Amercia! {or at least I'd like to think so} Keep on being amazing girl!

    P.S. You, Taylor, and I will one day leave all the kids with Rob and hit the town! How dare I tell you that you have to watch the kids!?!? You need to be able to go out and play with us too! Now I need to get my tail off the East Coast asap!

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  7. I love this, plain & simple. And I needed to be reminded of this - so, thank you!

    New follower and I love your blog! =)

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  8. Something new and fun our family is doing this year is delivering Meals on Wheels to the elderly. We are doing this through Interfaith ministries in Houston, TX:

    https://www.imgh.org/meals-on-wheels

    It's great because any age group can participate and everyone wins :)

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  9. This is my first time commenting even though I read your blog every day. That was so very well written that I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you for reminding me of this.

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  10. LOVE....one of my most favorite posts from you! So very true and we all need to be reminded of this once in awhile. Thank You!!

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  11. This video came to mind while I was reading your post, http://youtu.be/C0fAnwX76aI

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  12. i love this post Raven, everything about it - perfectly said and so important. thank you for this reminder

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  13. Girl, why you makin me cry? :) That's exactly it ... this has taken time for me, but I have prayed for patience and compassion, and God used some painful ways to make that happen, but I'm still grateful. You are right. So many are so much less fortunate. WHO KNOWS what they are facing. Usually if people are acting like assholes, they need the love the most. Good post! May I publish this post on my blog if I credit it back to yours/you as the author?

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  14. This is a beautiful post Raven! It's makes my heart happy to know that there are still genuinly nice people out there. =)

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  15. Love everything about this :) I couldn't agree anymore, as you know, thanks for sharing my post.

    &I also agree about the child molesters/rapists and murders. no excuses there.

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  16. This is a beautiful post, Raven. I love it, thank you for sharing!

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  17. I posted something similar to this a couple weeks ago: http://deeretomyheart.blogspot.com/2012/10/be-change-challenge.html

    Basically saying that it starts with us. We can't sit around, want change, and expect other people to do it. The change starts with US. Compassion, empathy and grace go a LOOOONG way in the world.

    Thanks for the great blog post :) Now let's just hope people act on it!

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  18. This is a beautiful post, and a great reminder as the holiday season approaches. I saw Ann Romney on a talk show before the election, and she said something that's stuck with me (very odd for me). She said that everyone has something in their lives that will bring them to their knees, and it's something I've tried to keep in mind as I go about my daily life. I have it really, really good. But not everyone does.

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  19. This post brought tears to my eyes. This is the way I try to live my life every single day. It gets hard sometimes when you're having a bad day or running late, but I still try to push through that and not blow up at people just because. I live in Manhattan..the land of few please's, thank you's, door holding, etc. I always hold the door, I probably say please and thank you TOO much and I try to shoot a smile at anyone who catches my eye because I'm always super thankful when someone does it in return :) We're all on this crazy journey of life and we all take different paths but at the end of the day we're all human and I think the world could be a much better place if people were just a little nicer to each other.

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  20. Ahhh tearing up over here. Thank you for writing this, it is so important that we do our best to lead by example, and extending kindness whenever possible. <3

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  21. awe how sweet sis! I think I am going to have mr. t. help me with a good deed tomorrow morning. he just doesn't know it yet. =) and I have been trying to hold doors open more for people since this time of year they are running to and fro with their hands full. hm..maybe I need to go treat myself to some starbucks. ;)

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  22. This is awesome. My son is only a year and a half, but I would love to start early with him on being thankful....and then actually doing something about it. Whether that means donating Christmas gifts, food, or time ...I want him to learn to give to others. Thanks for the great post.

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  23. I love this post. It is so true. I think so many people have forgotten "the reason for the season". You definitely hit the nail on the head here. :) Thank you for posting this.

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  24. The kids and I are doing a basket brigade tomorrow- we fill hundreds of baskets with all the thanksgiving dinner fixings and deliver them directly to families in need. It's pretty amazing and teaches my sometimes selfish daughter to give. Anyway there are tons of programs like this through out the year- it's great to get the whole family involved in any type of community service events!

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  25. There's your softy side ;)

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  26. Love love loove this post Raven!

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  27. I love this Raven! There is a thoughtful side to you :P

    Enjoy your weekend hun.

    xx

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  28. First of all, I love the new blog design! Second, this post was amazing. It is such a good reminder to all of us, especially as Thanksgiving and Christmas get closer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your message was wonderful!

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  29. You know, one thing I absolutely love about you Raven & what keeps me coming back day after day is how every single blog posts is real, raw and you. Weather it's funny or serious. Heart warming or sad. It's you and you can see that in your writing and that is what I love about you and your blog. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post & thank you for being you!! :) xoxo

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