‘Tis the Season to be Hopeful
December 19, 2011Linda Commito '72, author of Love Is the New Currency, reflects on Christmas in this piece which appears on her website, http://loveisthenewcurrency.com.
What are you noticing that is hopeful in the world?
It probably isn't the shopping malls with 50% off sale signs three weeks before Christmas, even though we love a ‘good deal'. It doesn't feel like such a great deal when we know that some of these retailers - many our friends and neighbors - are struggling to stay in business, just as we struggle to make ends meet. I am seeing a concerted effort to support our local businesses and hopefully that continues into the New Year.
But during this holiday season, many of us are making decisions to buy less, either waiting until our finances warrant additional purchases or because we've discovered that there is more joy in communal experiences than material things. There's a growing awareness of what's important in our lives, who and what we love and appreciate, what gives us hope and meaning, and how we can contribute to the lives of others.
We all have something to give, regardless of what's in our pockets or bank accounts. Size and quantity don't matter. Giving in any form makes us feel rich. Love IS the new currency. We all have our own unique ways of expressing our kindness. When we "spend" our love currency, we have an opportunity to share in a way that allows us to create a different experience for ourselves and for those around us.
When I look around me, what I find hopeful are the simple acts of love and kindness that people are performing every day. I love seeing John, a retired firefighter, spending his morning tutoring elementary students, or knowing that, without fail, David will visit his elderly friend in the nursing home every Wednesday, or hearing about a woman who bakes hundreds of cookies weekly to give to neighbors, shut-ins, and those who need a lift. And I feel inspired by a homeless man who for months has been making his way to a non-profit restaurant every night to surreptitiously slip a dollar bill in the slot of their door.
Ultimately, it's these simple and sometimes extraordinary acts of kindness, performed by everyday people like you and me and our friends and neighbors, that give me hope for a better world.
How will you spend your love currency this holiday season?
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