Blessed by a perfect summer day, I’m comfortably seated in a stunning park café in the cool shade of a sturdy old oak tree. A crisp breeze gently wrinkles waves shimmering across the harbour. Kate’s daughter, Lilli, who’s sensitive, wise and almost 4 years young, prods my leg, tugs at my skirt and asks me: “Molly, why are the people not smiling like before?” Kate laughed and explained: “Lilli loved the holiday celebrations and cheer – she’s now puzzled by their absence. She can’t yet articulate it, but she’s wondering where all the goodwill has gone”. Kate and I agreed that quality of life would greatly improve across nations, communities, for families, children, the elderly, in workplaces, the wildlife environment and for future generations, if our new year resolutions included celebrating life by extending the ‘spirit of goodwill to all’. The impact of this lifestyle choice is clearly evident annually during those six to eight wonderful weeks over the festive season when random acts of kindness escalate, ushering in a cheerful, buoyant seasonal atmosphere. People smile greetings, plan holidays, step lightly through their workday and spend leisure time choosing and wrapping gifts – not only for loved ones, but also to place beneath the office foyer Christmas charity trees. Community spirit returns to neighbourhoods. Volunteers treble. Adults rediscover their inner child as they wrap toys, hang stockings, hoist and decorate Christmas trees. Carols track through urban and suburban shopping malls and trail softly down back streets and lane ways. They echo sweetly across town squares and mingle with the homeless, huddled around their drum-barrel fires, sharing memories and supping on corn dogs. These days their pavement caps are filled with cash, tossed there with smiles and season’s cheer. During this brief seasonal interval the majority of us are mindful to share a charitable spirit – gifting of ourselves and resources to neighbours and community, colleagues and those who are toughing it out and far less fortunate.
Generosity, kindness and ‘the spirit of goodwill’ and cooperation rule!
But now, as we cruise into the end January, Christmas and New Year celebrations are receding memory as we descend into ‘normality’. From the first week in January the retail and jewellery stores, gift shops and florists display their Valentines’ day wares. Supermarkets launch the next commercial promotion – selling hot cross buns, Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs of every size, shape and tinsel shade. The homeless crouch scattered on streets, young and elderly alike, marginalised, begging cups clutched in hope. Animal shelters overflow, bloated by new arrivals, adult pets, puppies and kittens – some deserted by folk on never-ending holidays – others are rejected and unwanted gifts, handed in or dumped for euthanasia. The early morning peak hour scowls of stress and anxiety return to stamp the faces of bustling hordes striding to work through streets, arcades and underground walkways. Weary motorists weave snail-trails through traffic snarls along arterial thoroughfares and freeways, marking routes into city smog. Peak-hour rail commuters crowd platforms, flicking glances at their watches like ‘white rabbits’ in Wonderland, ears straining for their train. Back to the future!
My New Year resolution is to ‘make happy memories’. Kate and I resolved today to include ‘practise extending the spirit of goodwill to all’. Leastways, we’re going to give it a ripper shot. Lilli, eavesdropping on our conversation, as children do, nodded and announced emphatically: “Me too – I’m going to goodwilly all too.” Kate works for ‘ThamesReach’ , with homeless and street folk. She told me about one of her all time favourite singers/songwriters, whose goodwill a few years ago, Christmas 2009, made such a difference: “Homeless charity ‘Crisis’ benefits from Bob Dylan’s new album ‘Christmas in the Heart’ after Dylan announced he’d donate UK profits of the record to ‘Crisis’. Dylan paid for 15,000 meals for homeless people in Britain over Christmas and his deal with ‘Crisis’ aims to continue this support after the festive season has ended.” BBC News
pish-posh says . . .we begin cutting our wisdom teeth the first time we bite off more than we can chew
- even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth ... "you owe me"
I invite your comments, anecdotes and observations.
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irish blessings to all
- aah . . . pain relief
- ‘most wanted’ mug shots slideshow
- luck of the irish
- she who laughs last
- egyptian vulture
- it’s elementary my dear watson
- chasing the dime
- do the right thing
- nana gaia’s pantry
- talkin ’bout Y generation
- monkey business
- water water everywhere
- probiotic yoghurt
- sand dune cats
- the power of one
- random acts of kindness
- flower-power to the rescue
- marlon’s eagle-eye
- samaritan702′s trump deals
acknowledgementmy thanks to google - to find photographs for articles, i google 'subject' and 'copyright free'