When I was young and down in the dumps, my mother, the Angel Ella, would say, “Georgia, quit thinking about yourself. Think about somebody else. You’ll forget why you’re sad.”
I was young and not about to listen to the advice of an older woman. Particularly not my mom’s. What did she know about life?
Quite a lot, as it turns out.
My husband, Alan, walked out our door one day into the arms of another woman. Within a month I was reading to young children at an after-school program. One evening a week I walk into that library and my group, Ms. Stone’s Sunshine Club, jumps up and runs to the reading corner. I open up a book and they cuddle in as close as they can. They’re all smiles because they love the pictures. They love the stories. They love the attention.
They love me. I love them. They accept me as exactly the person they see. What they know is that I’m an attentive grandmother who thinks that they’re all the best and who reads books to them because it’s fun.
They don’t know my heart is broken, I’ve been rejected and my future is nothing but a big question mark. That’s part of their gift to me.
The children’s librarian loves me, too, because I’m dependable and share her passion for her life’s mission. She doesn’t know any of the dark stuff, either. That’s part of her gift to me.
I realize that everyone isn’t a pushover for kids and books. But each of us cares about something outside ourselves. Maybe it’s religion, politics, healthcare, the justice system, the environment. Maybe it’s a friend, a neighbor, a family member in need of tender loving care.
Just listen to the wise voice of Angel Ella, “Quit thinking about yourself. Think about somebody else.”
Who have you reached out to help out of your own need for solace?