By Judy Berman
There’s something in the air. The cold quickly turns our breath into a frosty mist. We seem to be frozen in time and space, delayed by long lines and heavy traffic. Despite this, many people are more patient, generous, thoughtful and caring than in any other season.
Even in the dark moments, there is light. For me, this is the most wonderful time of year. I pause amid the rush to savor the quiet, sweet moments.
Once, many years ago, as I walked among bustling crowds, I couldn’t help but smile at passers-by. That didn’t go unnoticed. One young man smiled back, wished me a “Merry Christmas,” and continued on his way.
It’s doubtful he knew the impact of his smile, from one stranger to another. Here and then gone in a twinkling. Yet it has stayed with me all this time. Little do we realize the ripple effect created by random acts of kindness.
Just look around. There’s no shortage of people reaching out to help and care for others.
Drivers are more courteous now. They wave to another motorist, allowing them to merge into the heavy flow of traffic. Shoppers, even worn out by hours of looking for that special gift, often display more patience than humanly expected.
So, what happens to some of those wonderful folks after Christmas? Where do they disappear to? Do they no longer worry about being on Santa’s “naughty” list?
It’s difficult to account for the transformation. For some, the change takes place the day after Christmas when they go to the malls to return some “white elephant,” and then discover the malls are jammed.
That’s when they change into Kathy Bates (as Evelyn Couch) in that scene from the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes.” She’d been patiently waiting for a parking spot to open up. Before she could pull in, two women cut her off and laughed at her. Unlike the rest of us in this type of situation, Bates got her revenge.
After hearing about the collision, her husband (Gailard Sartain as Ed Couch) said, “What I can’t understand is how you can hit someone six times by accident.”
OK, I admit I cheered Bates on. But, in real life, it’d be an excellent gift if the good vibes we feel now were to continue well past the holidays.
There is an effort to do just that. Here is one way your acts of kindness can make a difference thru the following link: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15972814-inspired-to-act-26acts-of-kindness-to-honor-those-lost-in-newtown-conn?lite&
Movie clip: “Fried Green Tomatoes” - Kathy Bates (as Evelyn Couch) is waiting on a parking spot.
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Video clip: Andy Williams singing “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
Main photo – Christmas – giving – Santa Claus talking with a Native American girl before giving her a Christmas gift at a Toys for Tots giveaway at the Havasupai village on the floor of the Grand Canyon (Dec. 16, 2009). The US Marine Corps reserve squadron, based at Edwards Air Force Base north of Los Angeles, has flown toys to the village’s children for Christmas for the past 14 years. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f0/USMC-091216-M-6497H-004.jpg/632px-USMC-091216-M-6497H-004.jpg
Photo – Christmas – homeless veterans – Boston (Dec. 25, 2010), U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Savage, executive officer of USS Constitution, serves juice and chats with a veteran at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans during a Christmas dinner visit. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_101225-N-7642M-106_Lt._Cmdr._Anthony_Savage,_executive_officer_of_USS_Constitution,_serves_Juice_and_chats_to_a_veteran_at_the_New_England_.jpg