Don’t Forget to Remember! Two of my favorite Christmas movies are Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. My family will attest to the fact that I play one of them every day, at least once a day, from Thanksgiving until New Year’s. I’m not always watching it. Just hearing it in the background helps me to feel the Christmas spirit. One of the sweetest moments in the second movie comes when Kevin is talking to the Bird Lady in the park.
The Bird Lady is explaining that she withdrew from life because she feared having her heart broken again. She told Kevin that when things are down, the people you love forget about you. Kevin replies with something quite profound for a kid his age, “Maybe they’re just too busy. Maybe they don’t forget about you, but they forget to remember you. People don’t mean to forget.”
He’s right. We don’t mean to forget, but all too often, we do. I wonder how many times I’ve been so busy that I forgot to remember others. How about you? Have you ever thought about it? We all get so busy with our own lives that it can be easy to forget to remember that a co-worker is spending their first Thanksgiving without their mother. Maybe someone you know is having financial difficulties or health problems, and those are just some things we might know about. There are so many people enduring silent struggles.
“Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.” Ian MacLaren
I don’t think most of us are intentionally being unkind, but many of us are guilty of being so busy that we forget to look around for ways to show kindness that could ease another’s unseen burden and lift their spirits. It can be as simple as a smile, a kind word, a compliment, paying for the person’s order in the drive-thru line behind you, rolling their trash can back in on trash day, etc. Get creative!
Let’s go out of our way to remember others this holiday season. Do it in secret, or do it openly. Just do it! Give sincere compliments. If you think something nice, say it. If you hear something nice, pass it on. As we remember to remember others, our own joy will increase.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi
If you are one struggling with something this holiday season, I still encourage you to look for ways to show kindness and lift someone else because as you do, magic will happen – your burden will somehow seem lighter. Many times, we find the answer to our own struggles as we step outside our own problems for a while to help others deal with theirs. You are the answer to someone’s prayers, and as such, you may very well answer your own.
Each of you reading this has a special place in my heart. You constantly lift me and make me feel valued, loved, and remembered. I’d love for you to share your stories about what you’ve done to make others feel remembered or how someone made you feel remembered.
This holiday season, let’s set an intention to remember. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Then open your eyes and look around for opportunities to serve. They are all around you every day. Don’t forget to remember.