Happy Memorial Day!
For most of my life, Memorial Day represented the end of school and the beginning of summer.
But did you know Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War and was declared a national holiday by Congress in 1971?
Memorial Day honors all military members who died in service to our country.
It’s a profound and meaningful holiday.
And it’s good for us.
I recently attended a funeral in a small town in Ohio.
As we were driving in the procession to the cemetery I noticed cars on the opposite side of the road pulling over and waiting for us to pass.
A few people even got out of their cars and stood with their hands over their hearts.
I’ve never seen this before and I was undone.
It brings me to tears just remembering it.
People stopped the busyness of their day to acknowledge and honor the life of a stranger and their loved ones.
It was a beautiful act of reverence and respect that illuminated the sacredness of life and the dignity of death.
It made me grateful to be alive and to witness the kindness and generosity of other human beings.
I was reminded that it’s all around us if we train our brains to see it.
There were plenty of people who didn’t stop but the ones who did were what I CHOSE to notice.
Why would I want to train my brain to notice awe-inspiring moments?
Other than it feels really good?
It makes me want to be a better person.
To live more.
Give more and receive more.
Stop. Notice. Receive.
Notice the random acts of kindness as simple as a smile from a stranger or the wave of a child.
We as humans are meant to connect and these are the gifts we cherish and remember at the end of life.
This is what makes life worth living when we go through difficult times.
There is goodness. There is love. There is light in the darkness.
It’s all around us if we look for it.
And we always have the opportunity to see the light and to be the light.
Knowing that this type of kindness exists has made my life a little better and makes me want to do something similar to pass it on.
Small things make a difference.
When we make someone else’s life better they are better able to take care of and help others.
Imagine a society where we all stop and show such profound respect to complete strangers.
How would that make the world a better place?
This is the effect of simple human kindness.
So on this day of remembrance and every day stop being in such a hurry and take the time to notice others.
Make eye contact. Give a smile.
Honor each other’s humanity.
What a privilege it is to be able to do so.