This time of year there are traditionally two strong messages circulating from all corners of society.
The first is a message of ‘Be charitable: remember those in need, remember those worse off than you’. All admirable and worthy sentiments. The second is that of ‘Be Merry! Be thankful! This is a time of family, of friends, of eating and drinking and presents and having fun’. Also a heart-warming and worthy message.
I wonder where that actually leaves the majority of us. And I wonder where it leaves you. I personally don’t know anyone (over the age of about 12) who doesn’t also have some internal struggle at this time of year. Maybe this season brings back memories of a special person, maybe you are lonely, maybe it’s hard to watch everyone drinking when you no longer can. Perhaps you are ill, maybe you dread the coming winter months, maybe you know the family feuds that are about to take place.
I wonder if, at the very time of year when these challenges can become so focussed, we are also told to put them away, be quiet, ignore our own problems for “everyone else’s sake”.
Hopefully you a rare person with none of these struggles, and to you I say ‘Be Merry! Be Charitable’. To the rest of us I say ‘Be Merry (if you can)! Be Charitable (if you can)! Be what you need to be (if you can!).’ You matter too.
We wish you (and us!) well,
From everyone at Active Listener