I wrote this several Christmases ago, and I still stand by it.
You–yes, YOU–are the gift on Christmas Day, and every day of the year. You are here right now at this moment in time because YOU matter, because YOU are needed, and because YOU are necessary to the lives around you.
There is no one on the earth like you, nor will there be again. You, and all you bring to your life, are important. Whether you think you are beautiful, ugly, tall, short, fat, thin, old, young, deformed, whole–-all the things that make you who you are–-matter.
We have all thought at one time or other, ‘why am I here? Does what I do matter?’ It is human to ask these questions and seek the answers. No matter how humdrum you think your life is, you affect other beings as you live your life.
Case in point: one day I was in a mall and decided to stop and have a pastry and a coffee. It was crowded that day, and there was no place to sit. I had made up my mind that I would just have to stand there and juggle my purse, coat, coffee and pastry when someone from a table called out to me to come sit down. It was a table of two women and their two children, and I thanked them and sat. One of the women told me that they too had had no place to sit when they came in, and someone offered them a place at their table. The person offering said that they, too, had been invited to sit at a stranger’s table, and decided to pass the favor on.
So after my two new friends and their children left, I finished my coffee. A few feet away stood a young man and his wife holding their coffees, and I invited them to sit down. I told them the story before I left. As I walked away, I saw the young man beckon to a stranger to join them. And that’s how we pass on grace to one another. It’s a small thing, but it was a lesson I didn’t forget.
How many times have we seen on the news how people come together to contribute to a pet’s necessary surgery when the owner can’t afford it? Or how about when a neighbor’s house burns down and everyone scrambles to give them shelter, food, warmth and hope? This what happens when people’s hearts are touched and they are moved to help and comfort.
The “power of one” is a powerful force. You matter, you are meant to be here, you are one-of-a-kind and are necessary to the world. We may never see our own worth in our lifetime, but believe me, others do.
Does anyone remember the brief but powerful television show starring Keiffer Sutherland called “Touch?” It always began with this voice-over: “There’s an ancient Chinese myth about the red thread of fate. It says that the gods have tied a red thread around one of our ankles; you are then attached to all the people whose lives we are destined to touch. This thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”
We may never realize the affect we have on others, but the simplest thing; say, a random act of kindness to a stranger–may re-direct a person’s life. I have a dear artist friend who makes incredible jewelry who has taught me many lessons in love, kindness and generosity over the years. Each year she makes gifts of her lovely earrings to those people in her life who help her throughout the year; the woman in the post office, the receptionist at the doctor’s office, the girl at the drive-up window, and often total strangers. These gifts are given not just in thanks, but in the hope of making another person happy.
Because of her beautiful influence in my life, I now do the same thing–not because I am such a good person, but because she is.
Whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, remember that you matter to us all.
Merry Christmas, everyone!