34 Days To Go: Look Around You

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.” — Love Actually (2003)

Continuing our meditation on the true meaning of Christmas, famed author Mitch Albom has a heartwarming story in today’s column, concluding with his definition of the Christmas message: “All we really have to do is look out for one another, help fix each other’s holes, and the miraculous can be an everyday thing.” To find out what he means by “fix each other’s holes,” read the column here.

From anecdote to data, we shift gears to psychologist Thomas Plante whose recent research shows that giving and helping others not only makes you more compassionate but improves your well being and stress management. Read about that experiment here.

“I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never be conquered.  The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning.” — Russian writer Vasily Grossman