Happiness Enabler: Goodwill

Confession – I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music. A LOT.

It’s joyous and uplifting and the prefect antidote to pretty much everything in the news these days. Also, it’s something my son and I can happily agree upon. So yes, Christmas music is pretty much 24/7 right now.

I’ve known most of the lyrics my entire life (thanks, mom!) so was surprised when a holiday favorite stopped me in my tracks today. And no, it wasn’t the somehow-controversial-for-no-good-reason, Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

It was instead I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day that made me pause. Specifically it was,

“And in despair I bowed my head,
There is no peace on Earth I said.
For hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on Earth, good will to men.”

Wow. That is heavy. So heavy. And that sentiment pretty much encapsulates everything currently drawing me into this 24/7 state of holiday music.

Our world feels very divided. Divided by hate and with mockery toward one another. It feels like a world that refuses to find peace.

But here’s the thing. No matter your belief system, no matter your reason for this season, goodwill toward men is ALWAYS our calling.

One of the pillars of happiness is compassion. Only when we have compassion for both ourselves and others will we find peace. Compassion is the path to both happiness and peace.

Let’s focus our efforts this season on being more compassionate to one another. Let’s default to kindness, knowing that goodwill leads to understanding and understanding leads to compassion.

Peace on Earth doesn’t need to feel like some unreachable idealistic dream because each of us individually can do our part to create peace. And we can do it through goodwill and compassion.

How I plan to have extra good will toward men (and women) this season:

I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I’m going to hug more.
I’m going to smile at strangers.
I’m going to hold doors open.
I’m going to show patience and gratitude and love.
I’m going to try my hardest to lead with kindness at all times.

Let’s lift our heads out of despair and into the hopefulness of peace.

“The world revolved from night to day –
a voice, a chime, a chant sublime
of peace on Earth, good will to men.”

Let’s be the voice, the chime, the chant sublime of Peace on Earth and good will to men. Happy holidays, everyone!

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