Archive for December, 2010

Faking it… Joy, Gratitude, Hope and Compassion.

December 22, 2010


The old saw, “fake it ‘til you make it” has been drifting through my consciousness these days.  Maybe it’s my desire to believe that everything is “exactly where it’s supposed to be right now” – and “everything is working out just the way it’s supposed to work out.”  Maybe it’s a reflection of my childish hopes that if you wish for something hard enough,  it will come true.  Especially at Christmas…when everything is sweet and good…and when wishes come true. Positive thoughts will manifest…I still want to believe.

Well, my native optimism and inclination towards joy is getting a pretty good work out this year. I suspect I’m not alone.  Tough times, for sure.

After living through a year watching hopes collapse in several non profit organizations I’m involved with, as resources necessary to sustain viability become too scarce to go around…and watching friends, indeed whole families, taking crushing hits for reasons simply unimaginable just a few years ago…and realizing the prospects of our collective future are increasingly dependent upon people who do not have our best interests in mind – I’m faking it a lot more. It seems a lot of people are. And that’s got me thinking.

The ability to suck it up— to stay completely and deliberately in the game as a positive force amidst crushing adversity — is perhaps the most inspirational of human qualities.   I see it more and more. Among friends, family members, program people. Individuals who’s resolute commitment to not be broken, no matter what — makes them stand out among people in common circumstance. I often wonder if they’re faking it.

Being hopeful, because you absolutely have to be.  Being grateful, for what you have… because you know it could be way worse.  Joyful, because you need to be…because you can’t stand the thought of sharing pain, hurt and fear with others. The human spirit to hold it together…and not to be broken. To not give in to despair.

And then there’s compassion.  Caring for…helping…staying with…listening to… supporting…sharing what you have (if only expressions of concern) — with others who really need to be cared about to survive and to keep from falling into despair. I believe compassion offered…is the noblest act a human being is capable of.  And is the greatest gift one person can give another.

Compassion offered to another in need, is also the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Compassion freely offered — with a pure heart — reminds us that we are…no matter what…and in our own eyes…worthy human beings capable of noble actions.  “I gave of myself willingly to another person…and it mattered.” A gift of self worth that cannot be taken away by anyone or any circumstance.  Impossible to fake.

Compassion is a lot like love, in that respect, I think.  Please know I love and cherish having you each and all in my life. I ain’t faking.

Love and Merry Christmas!   Joe