For some people, it’s as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. Or standing up to a coworker about some kind of injustice. For other people, it is the decision to get an ultrasound to try to find out the origin that nagging health problem they’ve been battling. For others still, it’s spending 12 hours in the waiting room while a loved one undergoes surgery to remove cancer.
Sometimes I think it’s too easy to forget the challenges those around us are facing on a daily basis. You go about your day doing what needs to be done, and that’s not necessarily wrong. But the reality is these things happen to people day in and day out. I know it because each of those things happened today. Family members and friends alike faced a variety of uphill challenges today worthy of pausing to recognize and respect.
Sure, it’s national dog day in America today. I could (and almost did) let myself get swept up in that, wondering why I didn’t get a special ice cream cone like I do on my birthday. Sure, it’s the day after my adoption anniversary, which went generally unnoticed by my beloved forever people yesterday. I could let that bother me. But life has taught me there is no reason for such things. There is no reason for negativity. Negativity is its own kind of cancer in my book.
The only way to beat it is to kill it with kindness. So today instead of fretting about what I could see as disappointments in my own little life bubble, I focused my thoughts and prayers on those people around me encountering a variety of situations. Like my mom’s good friend Dorian, whose dad underwent surgery to remove cancer cells today. And my mom’s good friend Mel, who had an ultrasound to figure out what might be causing her thyroid issues. These are real life things that happened in the lives of people I care about today.
It reminds me of some of the lyrics in that catchy song “Brave” by Sarah Barielles. “Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down by the enemy,” she sings, “fallen for the fear and done some disappearing, bow down to the mighty, stop holding your tongue…show me how big your brave is.”
So to the loved ones I so deeply care about, and to the strangers I don’t know, show me how big your brave is. Because it might not mean all that much, but I’m rooting for you. I want to see you be brave.