Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Creating Joy

Collage by Lani, image from josefnovak33.
I get a weekly newsletter from Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom and in this week's newsletter there's a letter from a reader with a description of the creation of joy and resilience during the recent east coast snow storms. It is very much worth reading as is Rick's website, blog, book, and newsletter!

This is such an appropriate topic for us here in on the East Coast this week. Through two huge snowstorms, we've been depending on each other's support and kindness. My neighborhood lost power for three days, and I personally benefited from neighbors who provided care. One evening, we all gathered (dogs included) near the fireplace in one neighbor's home, ate warm soup together, played charades with the teenagers, and got to know each other. Several neighbors have organized an emergency shelter to provide food and friendship. They've gone around to all homes in the neighborhood, knocking on doors to check on everyone. They found a 92-year-old woman who'd been alone and without heat for days and another young African exchange student who wasn't sure what to do. These two people are now connected and supported. There are countless stories like these; the friendships that will grow from these acts of caring will last a lifetime. Even brief encounters of kindness, like thanking the grocery clerk for being at work, or offering a ride home to someone walking on an icy road will leave echoes of gratitude in our hearts and strengthen the feeling that we are shelter for each other.

Thank you for Just One Thing; the messages are so beautifully written that I feel encouraged to take in their essence regardless of how busy my life might be.


April Powers

Collage by Lani, image from art-e-ology

No comments: