i'm struggling tonight.

i'm struggling tonight.

it's taken me an extra two days to sit down to this blog because, while typically, i tend to be a fairly upbeat human being who focuses on the humorous things in life, lately, stuff just don't seem very funny to me. i know i am going through my own personal drams, as we all are, but it just seems the state of the world has just tilted so far off it's normally swervy axis that i struggle to get my bearings and understand how to right myself in this confuddled environment. and sister, if I can't figure it out, as a (relatively) intelligent, educated 45 year old woman, how do i hope my kids will understand what is going on??

i won't even touch on the actual topic in this blog. the specifics of the issue isn't really what matters, though it's a topic that both so heartbreaking and close to my heart that i have difficulty separating myself from it at times. what i will say is people's responses to the topic are what have me wondering where the humanity has gone in our world? when did people decide that skulking around behind their keyboards, viciously attacking others for their opinions was the way of the world. what happened to the golden rule people? where has civility and acceptance gone?

i have taught my kids two critical guideposts all their lives. since they were old enough to understand the english language i've stressed two simple values above all: kindness and inclusion. it's that simple. if you are kind and you include people, you can almost never go wrong. do we always want to invite the quirky kid in the dora explorer shoes to sit at our table? no, not always. sometimes we just want to sit and laugh with our best friends and not have to work to bring a stranger up to speed about the jokes we tell. but walk a morning in that kid's dora shoes, the one over there who doesn't have anyone saving her a seat or being their partner at four square or asking her over to their house after school and you will understand why making sure you forfeit an extra 10 inches of picnic table real estate isn't asking too much. it's just not that hard to be kind and show humanity to someone who is brave enough to put one foot in front of the other and show up for themselves.

so what can we do about it? think global, act local. so a little story for you: i ran out of gas yesterday morning after dropping my high schooler to highlands. i had left my other three to get ready and when my car sputtered to a stop, i suddenly thought: holy CRAP what the hell am i going to do now?? when out of nowhere, a tall, kind-faced man walked his dog towards me and asked what happened. i told him and within minutes, he had run home and returned to the scene of my stupidity with a plastic gas tank. he filled me up using all his gas for his lawnmower (he told me i was saving him the effort) and when the car started after a half dozen attempts, he started whooping and hollering and laid a fat high five on me. i couldn't believe it. what a rock star. what did i do to deserve this?? having no money to give him in appreciation, i told him i would be sure and pay it forward to anyone i could before thanking him profusely. it made a deep impact on my recent skepticism and negativity. the littlest things can restore us to believing in the good of people.

i believe the way i can effect even just the smallest amount of change is to pay kindness, acceptance and understanding forward. do what you can: hold a door. walk your elderly neighbor's newspaper up to his doorstep. ask the new kid over to play. wave at the annoying woman who you can't stand (come on, we all know one). be kind. you never know when it's going to make a difference to someone in need.

on that note, catchy. is partnering with the hohokus school and the afsp (american foundation for suicide prevention) next week on october 2nd to raise funds for suicide awareness and prevention. mention the AFSP in the notes section when ordering online or on the phone when you call in your order (or in person) and 15% of the cost of the meal will be donated to the AFSP. another way to stand in the light of kindness and understanding.

go forth and be kind people. the world needs more of it.