Some say the world is a dangerous place and filled with hurtful, angry people. Others won’t even think of bringing a child into a world like this. No, we cannot let kids roam free like they used to and often we don’t even know our neighbors’ names, much less socialize with them. We build fences and stronger locks to keep people out and away. We arm ourselves against our fear of unknown violence. We honk and curse and shake fists at one another on the roadways. We look down and avoid eye contact and certainly don’t smile at strangers. We scurry from place to place, consumed with our own lives. Yes, this is how we live… sometimes.
But there are souls in this world who long to change that, who have soft hearts that desire to spread goodness, peace, comfort, and, of course, joy, to others. Today I was the recipient of something truly extraordinary. A group of women in a neighboring city gather on a regular basis and collect money as they share time together as friends. Every quarter they choose someone to receive the money they have collected. I was nominated for this gift several months ago, unbeknownst to me. Until today, I had never heard of Womenade of Highlands Ranch. I had no idea that complete strangers had decided to give to me out of the kindness they feel inside.
There was a letter inside along with the gift, and also a note from the individual who nominated me. She shared that “even though their gifts may be small, their compassion for other women is vast.” I have to disagree. I believe their gifts are monumental because of their compassion. They give selflessly, to complete strangers, and expect nothing in return. That is the best way to give. That is the heart of compassion and love. These women, and others like them, unlock the doors, put gates on the fences, seek to know their neighbors, look deep into another’s eyes, wave and smile on the highway, and offer smiles readily to everyone. That is kindness. That is generosity of spirit. That will melt anger and turn hurt into healing. That will make the world beautiful and fill it with delight. The lovely woman who nominated me thanked me for being real. I thank her and the other members of Womenade, and countless people around the world, for choosing to be real as well. Yes, in her words…
Real People = Joy