The Gratitude Project: Week Thirteen

Wow!

This week has been one for high emotions throughout this country… and, tensions on edge throughout the world.

Did you know that sex, drugs, nudity, death, and negativity sell?

They sell air time on the television, they sell space in the news, and they provide society with supposedly the understanding of the way of the world.

I have noticed this to be true in my own blogging experience. When I blog about death, I get readers sitting up and paying attention. In fact, my two most-viewed posts were calls to action based on death… based on tragedy.

You know what doesn’t sell?

Light.

Love.

Beauty.

For some reason, people don’t want to read about positivity in the world.

Even I am guilty of it – I’ll read a headline of a tragic death of a three year old forgotten in a daycare van, with the temperature inside the van reaching 144 degrees, click on it and automatically find myself drawn into the article, spiraling down a vortex of depression.

But, a bus driver who crochets something for every student on her bus route, as an act of love and kindness? How many of you have heard, clicked on, or read/watched that coverage by CNN? If not, click here and take a moment to read (or watch). I guarantee it will get you in the happy feels!

If we are to believe the media, our nation is on the verge of a crisis, whether from external threats or from social strife from within, not unlike what occurred during the height of the civil rights movement.  Tensions are running high, and there is darkness all around us. Which has left a lot of people feeling emotional – whether defensive or just plain angry. And, it has led others like myself to feel downright depressed (not in the clinical sense, but in the saddened sense of the word).

TheGratitudeProject

As I considered this week’s Gratitude Project post, I struggled. On one hand, there is absolute beauty and light all around me – everywhere I look. But, lurking at its edges is darkness – evil.

Yet, every fiber of my being wants to focus on the light, love, and beauty around me.

As the deadline for this post loomed closer, I had an epiphany. This week, I am most grateful for

Random Acts of Kindness.

More importantly, I am grateful I am able to be kind to others – to have the opportunity to look at another in their eyes as we walk by and exchange a smile, or say hello, or pay a compliment.

I am grateful for the moments I have been able to surprise someone, by paying for their meal or drink through a drive-thru, or offer words of encouragement to a mother whose child is having a meltdown in the grocery store checkout lane.

I am grateful for the moments where I can take a new mother and father a meal to celebrate their new baby, but also to help alleviate some of the new adjustments a new baby brings to a household – no matter the size of the family!

If I were to be watching and listening only to the darkness in this world, my soul would eventually crumble. It would succumb to that darkness and turn inward, encouraging me to look out only for myself… to look out only for my family.

But, we, as children of God, are called to be so. much. more than our individual selves! We are called to be part of a complete whole – a complete society! We are all equal parts of the pie that make up our society.

Regardless of our race, our creed, our abilities – we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and God is love.

Therefore, we are called to love!

We are called to be Christ’s hands and feet to each other!

So, this week, I am issuing a challenge to everyone reading these words.

Turn off the television and the radio.

Close down your computer once you’ve finished this article.

Head outside and do something nice for someone not in your own family.

Whether it is simply looking a stranger in the eyes and paying them a compliment; holding a door open for a group of people, smiling the entire time; buying a drink for the person in the drive-thru behind you; buying a gift card (or a few) and handing it out randomly – even leaving it on the windshield of a car; filling not just one, but two backpacks with back-to-school supplies (our local grocery store is selling pre-made boxes) and dropping them off at the school.

Go out into your immediate world – outside of your house – and be Christ’s hands and feet to a complete stranger!

Our world will not change until each of us do something good for someone else outside of our home. Teach your children by example and answer the call to love!

What are you grateful for this week? Let me know in the comments or use #bctgp on Instagram to share in this project. And, don’t be shy about spreading this challenge to your own family, friends, and community!

Until next week, dear reader…

 

29 thoughts on “The Gratitude Project: Week Thirteen

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  1. It easy to be drawn to negativity and dark things.
    People have a bad day, maybe they recall a memory theh are not fond of.
    Confusion settles on them, and they forget to look for God to settle their pain.
    Worries and tension build. Their lives become to centered on self.
    They start looking for things worse than what they are going through, but we are built for empathy, and these things do not usually brighten our souls.
    They can provide the incentive, afterwards, to look back towards the real author of our souls. The source of comfort and strength that gives us the fortitude to be compassionate not only with ourselves, but with others.
    God lets us pull on the lead occasionally, not so we can take off, or so he can jerk us back, but so having seen that we need his strength, we might come back to him to recieve it.
    This is something I am thankful for. I am often plagued with painful memories, or worries, and sometimes I can’t settle those voices on my own.
    Turning back to reflect on God through prayer, or barring that, letting my poetry or writing become my conversation with God — i find the relief I could not find before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so amazing!! And, there have been studies done which support your statements about recalling bad memories… those do stick with someone more than the positive sometimes. Which is why the general rule of thumb is critique a child one time, and give five positive critiques to make up for the one negative critique.

      How beautiful that you have found ability to turn back to our Creator during difficult times! I agree that we are built for empathy, and without Him, life can get pretty heavy.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  2. What a nice uplifting article. It is true that we seem to have so much sad and negative news and rarely hear of the people who do so much good but never have a mentioned.
    I have much to be grateful for since joining the Catholic Church and the kindness of people who have had to go that extra mile for me, makes me feel so humble. God bless Caroline

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a feeling there is a huge majority of people who believe this…we just don’t voice it but do it….in a quiet way; that never makes the news. My sister would say “time to go MAD….(Make A Difference).” She has that posted in huge letters on the wall by her door.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The BEST thing I have read all week!!! I typically do my best to avoid negativity or reading very sad stories that I know will leave me anxious — but it seems this week it is everywhere. Thank you for the reminder to focus on Christ and look for the light in the darkness – because there really is so much light, beauty, and love all around us. Our God is an awesome God!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so correct!! Our God IS an AWE-some God!!

      I’m thrilled this resonated with you! Thank you for reading, and I hope you will share with family and friends, too. Because it’s a message that I am firmly standing behind! 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great article. I believe that the devil wants one thing from a mom, that is her joy. If he takes that, he wins. Even thu it seem hard these days, we need to find that joy, that shinning light!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pretty good advice. That’s partly why I focus on ‘science’ news and am careful about what news service I read.

    On the ‘up’ side, even ‘down’ news can have a good side. It’s a bit hard to find, but BBC mentioned “tea and kindness” in connection with the recent incident in London. (Shameless self-promotion, I put a link to that article, and to Catholic Relief Services, in an unscheduled post: http://brendans-island.com/catholic-citizen/second-collections/ )

    Liked by 1 person

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