COMMENTARY - At a time of year when people would normally be getting together with friends and family and exchanging gifts, this holiday season can seem overwhelming and empty.
But it doesn’t have to be so.
Perhaps we won’t be able to hug our families and party hearty with our friends again this year but we can still look back at how far we’ve come since the close of 2020.
Yes, there have been losses but there are always losses. Yes, our expectations have not been met but when have they ever?
Yes, we may have fewer resources than in years past but there is one thing we can never lose.
And that is our ability to reach out to those around us and make them smile.
So, instead of giving a few people presents for the holidays, why not consider gifting everyone you meet – on the streets, in stores and online?
Just one small action – a smile, a friendly word, a helping hand, a pat on the back – can be the greatest gift of all.
Perform a mitzvah, not as a duty but as a joy.
Bring happiness – it’s in the doing. And the gift is as much to the doer as the recipient.
Keep practicing, and then take it beyond the season.
Remember, love is all we really need.
Who knows, if enough of us practice active and positive engagement with everyone that we meet, we will grow a movement of simple happiness and peace here on earth.
This post is dedicated to my biggest fan, my sister, with the hope that everyone who reads this will reach out to your sisters and brothers everywhere and express appreciation for what they bring to your life.
(Liz Amsden is an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She has written extensively on the City's budget and services as well as her many other interests and passions. In her real life she works on budgets for film and television where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today's world.)