While I'd like to think that I'd never intentionally hurt anyone, I know I have done so, more than I'll ever know. I believe that if each of us follow Martin Richard's plea -- "no more hurting people" -- at a whole new level, the world will be a safer place.
Let your actions be that ray of sunshine in someone's day. When you have a passion for life and you are feeling good, it is so easy to be generous with that emotion. Love, in all its forms, is meant to be shared.
We need to create more space for generosity in our lives. On Generosity Day you have permission to dip your toe in the water of generosity for the first time; or if the urge strikes you, you can be absurdly kind, foolishly caring, outlandishly giving.
The girls played in the yard, but their restlessness and whining was gone. I could tell they felt satisfied -- the way you do when you've done something for someone other than yourself -- and they were made more content by the sunshine and crisp, cold air.
Two seconds ago I was in a twin set and khakis, fresh from the gym, with exfoliated skin and lunch plans. Now I am one beaten-up Suburban away from bag lady with no buttons to push, and only an accelerator from which to hope for power.
What I've witnessed following this recent tragedy convinces me that the social and spiritual ills encircling our world can be solved through concerted efforts at dialogue, inclusion and compassion. Try love, not fear, not cursing the darkness -- or shooting at it.
The elderly woman was about to leave with her bagged items, and the conveyor belt was moving. I quickly reached into my wallet, took out a 10-spot, and touched the elderly woman on her arm. "Excuse me, ma'am, I think you dropped this."
We are angels on earth who touch and are touched. In a time of darkness, we can be the vehicle for light. Intuitively, every one of us wants to leave the world a better and brighter place. Those that died last week live in us and through us.
Sudden, deep feelings are often teachers that we resist or turn away from, because of their intensity. Instead, we are often asked to enter these deep feelings, the way we might enter a field after a long walk through the woods.
How are we to understand a story like this? Does it tell us that acts of kindness and the gratitude they engender outlast decades and oceans and continents? Does it tell us that kindness, like the song of a red bird, will be answered long after the bird has died?
In the wake of Sandy, I've been reflecting on the relatively upbeat and supportive mood around here and what it can teach us: Specifically, these questions: How come we can't pull together like this all the time?