This morning I received some extremely sobering news. Earlier this week, someone I know took their own life. My heart goes out to his family and closest friends. This tragic decision is made even more heart-wrenching by it being taken so close to Christmas – a time that is supposed to be about togetherness and celebration. The fact is that for this very reason, for many, this time of the year can also heighten feelings of loneliness and despair.
We live in a world of opposites. Where there is happiness there is also the possibility of sorrow. Thankfully, because the two are sides of the same coin we also know that the more positive emotion is always present if we seek it out.
No-one truly knows what another person is thinking and feeling and in the majority of cases we assume too much and understand too little. Therefore, if the news from earlier today can have a positive impact, let it cause all of us to be even more grateful for the relationships we have with our friends and family. Let it make us appreciate that all our lives, even the lives of people we have never even met, are connected. We do not live in isolation, even if at times it can seem that way. If we reach out we will find them.
And finally, let it cause us to value the blessing of being able to wake up to a new day. A day that brings new possibilities. A day that presents us with opportunities to shape another person’s experience. We might never know the impact of a kind word, a wave or a smile to a stranger.