Here in the U.S., Monday is a national holiday – Memorial Day – a day set aside to commemorate the service of men and women who died serving in the Armed Forces. It has long held a special meaning for me, as not only are my grandfather, brother and husband veterans of the Armed Forces, but I also spent several years living in a military community, where every day I was touched by the sacrifice of someone else. It always makes me then think of all of the other people in my life to whom I owe little bits of happiness, peace and relief.
As we approach this national holiday, I would ask you to take a moment to reflect on your life – how you have been touched by someone else who has sacrificed something for you – a parent, a friend, a soldier, a stranger, a child, and how you might be in a position to “pay it forward” somehow.
While gathering with family and friends around the barbeque or at the beach, pause to take a moment to think about those who gave their lives to ensure our peace and safety, as well as those who have touched your life in other, perhaps less obvious ways. Then I encourage you to pay it forward over the next week. Go out of your way to smile at someone you pass, or to brighten a child’s day. To give a little more generously of your time, your money or your talents. To be a little more patient or understanding, to lend a helping hand or a listening ear.
And, while you’re at it, hug a child. It makes a bigger difference than you might realize.