In this busy and stressful world, we have to look for reasons to pause. Simchas and celebrations provide the perfect excuse. Stopping everything and taking the time to acknowledge an achievement, an accomplishment, a milestone or a lifecycle event, enriches our lives and elevates those around us. When we take our kids to dinner to mark a great report card, grab an ice-cream after they hit a home run, or invite the grandparents over for a BBQ when they graduate from elementary school – we are showing them that we care. Each one of these little accomplishments means something to us, and that they are worthy of celebration.
Look Around You
Moving beyond the obvious, it’s important to celebrate those people in our lives. Our friends and family who stand by us through good and bad times, our teachers who work hard to maximize our potential, our community helpers who keep us safe and secure, and everyone who in some way enriches our lives. Just taking the time out to say thank you or wish them a great day, spreads joy. When our children observe this behavior, we are multiplying the effect. They see first hand the positive implications of gratitude and kindness and hopefully behave in a similar manner. This broadens the circle of happiness and impacts an ever-increasing number of people.
We are often too busy to stop to express kindness or gratitude. Sometimes it’s too much effort to arrange a celebration. I implore you to see beyond the busy-ness, to put forth the effort, to take the time to celebrate and mark every accomplishment or milestone, no matter how small. This builds memories, love and a sense of security that lasts a lifetime and impacts an ever broadening circle of people. Perhaps this is what they mean when our elders tell us that no matter how small, acts of kindness have the ability to change the world. _
Sue Penn is a contributing writer to Kiddish Magazine.