Officially Memorial Day is meant to remember and honor those who have fought to preserve this country, the United States. The best military men and women have acted with great courage and honor. Many have given their lives.
Some of you reading this may have come back from war with PTSD. You know firsthand the cost of war.
Growing up, I heard these words associated with soldiers: Honor. Courage. Doing the right thing even when it’s scary or hard. Doing what has to be done even when you’re so tired you just want to give up.
Those are ideals towhich we all can aspire. And if we live our lives with honor and courage and a determination to do what needs to be done and to always do the right thing, then we are helping to create a world in which we would all like to live.
If you’ve ever been abused or traumatized, you may feel powerless. You may feel as if what you do can’t be “good enough” or can’t matter. But it does. No matter what has happened to us in the past, no matter what we have done in the past, we can begin, today, to live our lives by these ideals. We can make a positive difference in the world.
I truly believe in the ripple effect. Everything we do impacts not only those with whom we interact directly but everyone those people interact with on a daily basis. We help to create the world we live in by the choices we make.
When we act with honor and courage, we may inspire others to do so as well. When we act and speak with kindness and compassion, we encourage others to treat those they encounter with kindness and compassion.
If you find it hard to believe that what you do matters, take a day and all day, no matter what the other person does, no matter how you feel, speak and act with kindness toward everyone you meet. Smile even before you know if the other person will smile back. Look for the best in the other person and connect with that. Do what’s right, even if it’s hard. Then watch how the world around you reacts. Some people will be suspicious because this isn’t what they are used to encountering. Odds are, though, that you will find your own day going more smoothly. Odds are you will find other people smiling at YOU. And though you may never know it, odds are that your kindness will have an impact on people you will never see or hear about.
Most of us will never wear a uniform, never go into battle but each of us, every day, can work to bring about a better world—for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren. Each of us can help to preserve the best of our culture and society. WE can live up to the ideals of seeing each man and woman and child as created equal and entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We can, by our example, help to create and preserve a society in which people act with decency and compassion and kindness and courage and honor.
Happy Memorial Day, everyone.
Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),