Christmas is about giving. And it’s also about recognizing that life’s greatest gifts are not store-bought, nor come wrapped in packages. For me, this year filled my life with people who changed my life and experiences that filled my soul with meaning.
As my gift to you, I share with you part of a speech I gave last summer. I hope it’s message brings a smile to your heart…Merry Christmas.
Be the good. Believe there is good in the world. Good will prevail. Three powerfully simple phrases I saw written on a poster at a make-shift memorial in Boston seven months ago. Three powerfully impactful philosophies by which I want to live my life and through which I want to see the world, especially in tumultous times. This is what they mean to me. Be the Good. Do good. See the world with open eyes, every day. Constantly seek opportunites to help yourself and to help others. Do it for the sake of beneficiance and never for the purpose of self-promotion. Trust your instincts. Go to sleep each night knowing that you have not walked away from someone, or something, that made you uncomfortable because chances are, your discomfort pales in comparison to theirs. Believe there is good in the world. Know that the goodness of humanity always outweighs its atrocities. Know that logic and reasoning can never explain why bad things happen to good people. And if there was ever some sort of “justification” for it, consider that people, both individually and collectively, become stronger, become unified, become one humanity. Good will prevail. People act. People unite. People emphasize. Goodness will multiple a thousand-fold wherein one good deed, or thought, will inspire a myriad of other good deeds and thoughts. And if I could add one more, it is to be grateful. Accept life’s events as gifts, both good and bad, but especially those events that cause us harm. Use that which could limit your life to make your life limitless and to eventually accept it as a gift that you’ve been given to help others. While my life was forever changed when I was six years old after being hit by a gravel truck and losing my leg, that’s all I lost. My life with limb loss has been the greatest gift I could have ever received in life. For that, I am grateful. Because of it, I’ve been given immeasurable opportunities to return the gift by helping others. I’ve been given an amazing family and support network. I’ve been given a tenacious and steadfastly determined spirit. And I’ve been given the opportunity to tell another little girl that she would dance again only to have her return the “gift” by reaching out and touching my leg.
For all of this, I am grateful. Be the good.