PET is about protection AND improvement — environmentally, socially and re. well-being. The last two are being put to a heavy test in these days, interestingly to the advantage of the first… We’re all responding quite positively: the air’s full of official, sensible Do’s & Don’ts; organisations (including us) are doing their bit putting together local information resources, local mutual-service-hubs, etc; and people around us are readily doing all sorts of selfless care-for-thy-neighbour stuff! Wow!
It made me think, why can’t it be Christmas every day?
Taking Christmas not to refer to presents, favourite foods or over-boisterous people but rather to focused quality attention for young & old, cosy relaxed togetherness and simple joy, one answer to that question might be that in our accepted world “the soft skills are the hard skills1Prof. Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School.”
A recent newsletter further crystallised the idea that, despite the current calamity and its staggering effects, we have here a learning opportunity: to consciously give & receive the wonder of Christmas — practising yule-tide values2like choosing for less stress, choosing to make a concerted effort to give & receive attention, to do more stuff together, think about what others might like and actually make a difference in their lives, to smile more, be truer to our real —innocent & vulnerable — nature, not to shut out but relive the magic through children’s capacity to believe, and to be properly awed by the delight in people’s eyes! — for an extended period of time!
“The spontaneous springing forth of determined acts of kindness may become our saving grace, if it becomes a new normal. Love and compassion are profound forces of healing, certainly of the mind and heart. Kindness boosts our social immune system, rendering it more resistant to infections of meanness and divisiveness that break down our civic health; to the extent it reduces fear, it can also have a positive effect upon our physical immune system.
The wonderful thing is that kindness is a choice any of us can make at any time. It doesn’t require training in some discipline. It doesn’t require special equipment. It only requires an open heart that can honour others and care for their well-being. It also doesn’t require grand and dramatic gestures; sometimes, just a smile can work miracles. (But don’t hold back from the dramatic gesture if it seems warranted and you can do it!)
I’ve seen many people on television and in print commenting that what we need to practice isn’t social distancing but physical distancing, keeping the bonds of our connectedness together intact even as we stand six feet apart. As a friend of mine wrote to me, “we need to practice social nearness-ing!” I agree.
Kindness is what fills in the gaps that can arise when we distance ourselves physically. Kindness is “social nearness-ing.” If medicine is the front line protecting our bodies, kindness is the front protecting our hearts and our souls.” © David Spangler, David’s Desk #155, April 2020
And “where two or three are gathered together” to think, speak and act to the other in Kindness’ name… there heaven is on earth and more miracles can happen!