Snow Day

It’s a statutory holiday here in Canada. I’m looking out my patio window, and snow has frosted the evergreens. There’s some wind, so the huge flakes are falling on an angle. I’m calling this a snow day.

Good idea; I’m still drifting after a lovely conversation with my good friend, Marlene. She’s in Utah. I’m on the Candian Shield in Northwestern Ontario. But we connect. Boy, do we connect!

The question I have is do you connect with someone in a way that revolutionizes your life? If not, why not? Love is probably the greatest experience you can have in this life. And since you have an endless capacity to love, it’s sinful not to love as fiercely as you can.

Which reminds me of last Thursday night, when I heard an impromptu speech at Toastmasters that struck me deeply. The topic was love, of course. But not the type of love we usually think of at this time of the year. You know what I mean–perfect love, doting suitors, loving husbands and attentive wives. No, this was about loving those who don’t seem to deserve it. The grouchy, self-absorbed or weird. Those who are ill and smelly. The ruffians we can’t stand. The homeless or downtrodden.

And the point of the talk was if you make the effort to love those who are seemingly unlovable, what might you accomplish? Could you build that person up to the point where they do become lovable? Or more realistically, would your efforts be the one bright spot in an otherwise darkened life? Could you provide the spark that relights someone’s fire? What if what you do today is the thing that keeps someone from pulling the plug tomorrow?

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in this country. However, it’s the second leading cause of death (next to accidents) in people from the ages of 15 to 34. Depression–one in six cases goes undiagnosed–is the leading factor in those deaths. It’s a plague on our nation. Forget about the Coronavirus. It’s small peanuts compared to this problem.

So, this Valentine’s Day, I hope you remembered the people on the fringes, the ones who fly beneath your radar, who aren’t the people you think of when you turn to love. Hope you did something that’s not easy. Hope you showed real love and compassion for the difficult one(s) in your life. It may just have been the one act that lifted them up.

And, when the day was over, did you keep doing those small things that can bring light into the lives of people for whom darkness is ever-present; a smile, a heartfelt compliment, a warm meal with real conversation, a driveway shovelled, a window fixed, perhaps nothing more than a wordless hug?

After all, what would you have to lose? A little time, some pocket change, maybe a bit of sweat equity. Since when have any of these things been harmful?

Love is a great thing. Why not embrace it?

Let’s change the world.

Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2020

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