It is a powerful realization when we realize just how much difference one person can make in another’s life—and their own! February’s most cherished holiday recognizes this phenomenon, which usually focuses on romantic love. Having married on Valentine’s Day, I certainly acknowledge the power of that focus. I want so much to take advantage of the endless opportunities every day to create, and to receive, joy.
We can acknowledge how important the people in our lives are to us in many ways. An act of kindness to another has the added benefit of feeling better ourselves. It takes little effort to give someone our attention, sometimes with just a smile and a greeting. We all know people who are kind. I paused for a moment to think of who would come into my mind as a kind person. It was just a few seconds before Bill Austin’s smiling countenance came to mind! Many of our readers will agree, having read his wonderful columns on relationships in these pages for decades. If I were granted one wish, I would be able to emulate this kind, brilliant man—a minister for decades who became a writer and counselor. Just thinking about others’ true humility and kindness humbles me, realizing how far I am from their example.
In the midst of a difficult day
or week—or year,
can we allow ourselves
of focusing on the
in our daily lives?
On the very morning I am writing this, I received a philosophical text by Ben Stein, sent to me by an occasional pen pal. It was uplifting—no small gift. Mornings are my favorite time, and nothing unusual needs to happen to allow me to feel fortunate. My husband is an introvert, but he speaks volumes through his quiet presence and patience with his extraverted wife. I love early mornings, even more so since recognizing that many have lost a spouse.
When we are truly aware of interactions with others, there are many gifts we can give and receive. If we allow an aggravation to have any power, what pleasant interactions do we miss? Who do we hurt, along with ourselves, when we are less than kind?
In the midst of a difficult day or week—or year, can we allow ourselves the luxury of focusing on the people, pleasures, even miracles, in our daily lives? We have so much, starting with our very lives, that we can change our outlook from bleak to fantastic if we practice looking at others with love.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.