It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or not.
For so many, this is a great time of year. It can really bring out the best in people. It can also be a very isolating and sad time for others. I don’t want to “burry the lead” so here it is. Please do what you can for yourself and others!
Behind the walls of that house or apartment might be a vastly different world than you imagine it to be. Maybe a loved one is sick or isn’t there anymore. Maybe there is no money. (I don’t mean “buy a gift or two kind of no money” I mean — no money.) Maybe there is no food in the house or refrigerator. Maybe a family pet, who might have been their only companion isn’t there anymore. Maybe that cheerful face you see outside of their home is wondering whether to skip food in order to buy medicine inside those walls. Maybe the memories of times past are just too much of a burden for them. Maybe they’re concerned they might be living on the street shortly.
If you think you don’t know anyone like this, while I hope you’re right, I know you’re wrong. Some of these people wouldn’t ask for help. Couldn’t even conceive of asking for help. After all, so often asking for help is a much harder thing to do than accepting it. You know these people because depression, anxiety and concern don’t confine themselves to just one type of person or area or finances or color or age.
(As much as I hate to include this, I must.
Just because you or I might not think someone is depressed, hurting or contemplating hurting or killing themselves, doesn’t mean they aren’t. Sure some are more prone, but that doesn’t mean others aren’t inclined to find themselves those situations as well. A good “rule of thumb” is that depression, anxiety and/or suicide is possible for anyone and everyone.
The National suicide prevention hotline is now available by simply calling 988! Whether for yourself or for someone else, please use that number as often as you need to.
Here is the link that will get you to their website…
So what can we do? I don’t know exactly, that’s up to each of us. Only we know how we can individually help or even if we feel like we want to help. Some of you might be saying “It’s their fault” or “I’ve got problems of my own” or “it’s time they learned a lesson.” Believe it or not, you might be shocked to hear that I actually agree with that last one. I think it istime that they learned a lesson, just not the lesson that nobody cares! I think a much better lesson, especially in this time of the year we call the “Season of Love” is that people do care! I think a great lesson is the gratitude felt, especially when it’s the people we never imagined would help, that actually do!
Look around your neighborhood, your family and friends across the country or look over your social media. Do you have anything you might be able to spare for any of those people who might need it? Your time, money or compassion? Only you know the real answers to… Do you want to help and if you do, can you, will you? Just keep in mind that in that very honest conversation you have with yourself, “lip-service” has no place or value.
Do your best to look at others not as “them” but as more of ‘us.” Do your best to surprise yourself by opening up both your heart and your mind. Do your best not to simply talk about helping others but instead, actually do something to help them. Do your best to give some gifts that are in some way connected with charity. (Maybe a donation in someone’s name or a company where a % of that pot or pan you’re giving as a present goes to charity.) Do your best to be a better person, husband, wife, friend, human being every single day from this one on. Do your best to be more kind and empathetic and push yourself to see the things today that you might have missed in your yesterdays. Your tomorrows will thank you.
Having said what I came to say, let me add that I hope your Chanukah or Christmas and your New Year’s celebration will be good. If you don’t celebrate any of these, I hope you can at the very least find some of that Peace I mentioned earlier.
Peace My Friends
“First you go in faith to receive help from another, and then, in accepting this help, you find it in yourself.” —Reb Anderson