By Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D.
As 2021 ends, it is a good time for reflection on the past and hope for the future
For two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has upturned the world and the global population learned how to deal with something that we thought happened only in science fiction. Even today, the competition between getting everyone vaccinated and fighting off new variants remains a close race. As the year ends, it is a good time for reflection on the past and hope for the future.
With COVID-19 in the spotlight, it was easy to miss the more uplifting and positive stories of the year. Here are just a few examples of good Samaritans who went above and beyond for others:
- Frontline and health care workers the top of list of all that is good in a time of darkness. These professionals transcended their job descriptions to offer patients and their families comfort through their presence and compassion. Thank you!
- Wildfires in California were another tragedy, but Woody Faircloth has been a shining light. He and his nine-year-old daughter, Luna, have delivered almost 100 donated motorhomes to people who to families who lost their homes, providing both shelter and hope.
- Following the devastating tornados in Kentucky recently, Jim Finch packed up his grill and brought food and water to the people of Mayfield who lost everything in the disaster. This simple act of kindness and generosity helps restore faith in the goodness of others.
Extending Kindness…to Yourself
Scenes like these happen all the time but are too often overshadowed by negative circumstances. These good people, and others like them, are role models for all of us, not just during holidays and times of special needs, but always.
Recognizing and responding to someone in need is a gift to both parties. But it is equally important that we also be patient and kind to ourselves. Everyone struggles with inner battles, whether it’s weight, physical or mental health, financial challenges or something else. The next time you find yourself being self-critical, pause for a moment and instead of berating yourself, extend the same compassion and grace you offer to others to yourself. Guilt, anger and sadness can be useful emotions, but don’t give them more than they are due. Acknowledge what you’re feeling, but at the same time recognize that dwelling on a minor slip benefits absolutely no one. Take three deep breaths, absolve yourself and move on.
We all have things to be thankful for even if we have to look a little harder to find them. As we get ready to turn the calendar for the last time in 2021, remember that every day is a new opportunity to be kind to yourself and others. There is no limit to the supply of kindness we can give and get, so be generous!
Our best wishes to you and yours for a new year filled with joy, peace and the promise of wonderful memories.
About the Author: Dr. Andrea Pampaloni has over 20 years of communication experience across corporate, academic, nonprofit and government sectors. She provides research and writing services on a range of business issues and industry-specific topics to prepare white papers, articles, proposals, presentations, technical content, and speaking points, as well as marketing-communications content such as blogs, website content, newsletters, news releases and award submissions. Dr. Pampaloni’s research findings have been presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals, and she is a ghostwriter for three books, a Forbes article, and several corporate blogs.