I’ve been thinking a lot about friends this week, how I need them, rely on them, and wish more than anything to be available to them. Returning what’s been given to me, counting my blessings in more ways than one… these are the things that matter in life, especially with the holidays rounding the bend.
Have you been doing any holiday shopping for your loved ones? I’ve been grabbing stuff here and there for a few months now. Of course, some members of my family are easier to buy for than others. But in the course of setting about making this holiday one for the record books, I’ve realized one thing. Love is the finest present of all. It can’t be bought or sold. It isn’t always packaged in a pretty red bow. Love travels great distances and can be shared in various ways. Love is masterfully crafted by an unseen hand.
Besides my family and friends, my favorite example of love exists in romantic fiction. A romance novel brings two people, who couldn’t be more different, or alike, together. A reader always knows the boy will get the girl, and vice versa. One thing that is tantamount to creating an unforgettable story is the highly anticipated Happily Ever After, the HEA, an ingredient no romance writer leaves out of their arsenal. Without the HEA, romance is caput.
As I get older, I wonder where love has gone. I’ve watched drivers drive with enraged testosterone, while the lone wolf on the track is practically run down. This week alone, I’ve been honked at for putting on my turn signal and trying to switch lanes with plenty of room to spare. I’ve been stuck behind a woman who stopped in a median to turn into a gas station, skillfully playing with her cell phone, not realizing the back of her car stuck out into traffic, preventing me from moving forward toward a green light. Where’s good sense? Where’s consideration? As a society, are we so bent on curing our own sickness that we fail to see the plaque building in our neighbor?
The Christian bible tells us to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves’, but I suggest society has twisted this philosophy askew. More often than not, we are loving ourselves more than our neighbor. At this time of year when many charities are open to helping those in need, how are we spreading that love? Are we?
Where I work, we accept donations for St. Jude’s http://www.stjude.org/waystohelp during the holidays, which helps children and their families deal with cancer and resulting treatments. Reasons why a customer won’t donate a dollar: “when is someone going to give me money for my needs?” Another reason, “I gave my one donation for the year.” Or here’s a classic, “I haven’t got a dollar to spare.” Judging by this economy, I’m sure the latter is true. However, nothing can be gained by refusing to give. Love cannot blossom without cultivation.
I love the commercials where people pay it forward. What a simple, lovely concept. A no brainer!
One of the ways I try to make a difference. I write romantic fiction to escape the present, to enter into adventure, to experience love for the first time again and again, and to share that love with others. In my stories, there are villains to be sure. But they do not win the day. In the end, good overcomes evil. Two lovers are united and the much awaited HEA brings a satisfied smile, and a sense that love withstands all things, rises above all things.
Doctors and nurses prove that every day at St. Jude’s. Marines do that every year with project: Toys For Tots http://www.toysfortots.org/. You do it when you buy a present for your loved one and share it with that person on Christmas morning. We teach our kids that Santa does it. We hope our bosses do it by giving out a bonus. Black Friday is a treat for customers by businesses eager to jump start the economy but also to provide a need, a discount to haggard accounts and weary shoppers all over the world.
Next week’s Mid-Week Hump comes the day before Thanksgiving. Be a blessing in the lives of others, sharing your light, letting it shine in someone else’s heart.
It’s Wednesday. Mid-Week Hump Day! There’s still time to show someone you love them. There’s still time to care for those who have not. Open your heart to those around you. At home is the best place to start.
Have you paid something forward recently? As an average citizen, what other ways can we make a difference in people’s lives?
As an aside, I know the southern writers at Okay, Listen Here have made a great impact on my life. I cherish their friendship more than they can possibly know.