"To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle"-Walt Whitman
When we see the tragedies of the world and in our own lives, it is easy to become discouraged. Just like on a cloudy, dreary day we are prone to stay inside and complain about the weather or, in the 21st century, worry about global warming.
We can quickly spiral into a story or belief that violence is worse than ever and the politicians are corrupt and the planet is on the fast track to destruction. It is easy to retreat under your blankets after watching the news and despair that the world is growing darker-- especially at this time of year when there is indeed less daylight.
The truth is, miracles happen every day all around us. But when the Earth is darkened, when we are weary from the long night, we may not remember to lift up our eyes and gaze outward to behold them.
This is why for thousands of years people the world over have created rituals and celebrations of the light during this time of the seasons when the days are short and the nights are long.
We bring the beautiful evergreen inside and wrap it in tiny lights, houses glow on every street with bright displays, candles are lit on the menorah and placed in the window, we tell stories about far away people guided by the brightest of stars.
These traditions are built not only to remind us of the miracle of light, but more importantly to remind us to SHARE the light.
To place the light on display so that all who pass by, no matter who they are, will also be reminded and experience its warmth.
We remember to GIVE and GIVE and GIVE the light of love away to all who cross our path, not just those closest to us.
The gift of our unique light is truly the greatest gift we can ever hope to give.
I believe It is our greatest privilege and duty to do so.
Each little light in the darkness is a miracle waiting to be shared. YOUR light is a miracle waiting to be shared.
Don’t You Know yet? It is your light that lights the worlds.--Rumi
Right now you may not feel like you have anything to give. You may be on your last $10 and there may be fewer gifts under the tree this year than ever for your family. If that is the case then now is especially the time to lift your gaze and look out into the world and see how you can spread light to anyone less fortunate than yourself--because you have a home with a roof with a tree under it. So you take your kindness to someone who doesn’t have this. Then see how your blessings multiply in the smile on their face.
This story comes from the website deily.org:
In Crown Heights, there was a Jew, Yankel, who owned a bakery. He survived the Nazi concentration camps.
He once said, “You know why it is that I’m alive today? I was a kid, just a teenager at the time. We were on the train, in a boxcar, being taken to Auschwitz.
“Night came and it was freezing, deathly cold, in that boxcar. The Germans would leave the cars on the side of the tracks overnight, sometimes for days on end without any food, and of course, no blankets to keep us warm,” He said. “Sitting next to me was an older Jew – this beloved elderly Jew - from my hometown. I recognized, but I had never seen him like this. He was shivering from head to toe, and looked terrible. So I wrapped my arms around him and began rubbing him, to warm him up. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his face, his neck. I begged him to hang on.
All night long; I kept the man warm this way. I was tired, I was freezing cold myself, my fingers were numb, but I didn’t stop rubbing the heat on to this man’s body. Hours and hours went by this way. Finally, night passed, morning came, and the sun began to shine. There was some warmth in the cabin, and then I looked around the car to see some of the other Jews in the car. To my horror, all I could see were frozen bodies, and all I could hear was a deathly silence.
Nobody else in that cabin made it through the night - they died from the frost. Only two people survived: the old man and me… The old man survived because somebody kept him warm; I survived because I was warming somebody else…”
When you warm other people’s hearts, you remain warm yourself. When you seek to support, encourage and inspire others; then you discover support, encouragement and inspiration in your own life as well.
Shine your light in the world this season and always. You will make the difference for so many others as we make our way out of the dark.