The Christmas Eve service Smitty and I attended centered a lot on what the world would look like if we all showed more generosity and kindness in our everyday lives. They played the viral video of KC’s own Secret Santa using cops to spread cheer, as an example of how small acts create big impact. It’s a great video and it highlights a very generous individual. But all I could think of throughout the entire service was how lucky I am to see examples like this every day. In Milagrans.
I used to think people were mostly annoying. Mostly self-centered. Mostly not worth the effort.
Inspiring, I know.
But I was forming my opinions based on what I saw on TV or on social media. The stories I heard or read were obviously representative of people as a whole. Right? It’s the NEWS. It’s REALITY TV. It’s Facebook. These are accurate depictions of real people. Except they totally aren’t. The more time I spend engaging in media OF ANY KIND, the less I like people. The more time I spend engaging with actual people OF ANY KIND, the more I love people.
Nowhere is this more clear than at Milagro. Have I told you about the Milagran who spent Black Friday at the mall? Unremarkable, right? Except that she and her mom were there not to shop, but to hand out Starbucks gift cards to the store employees who looked exhausted.
Have I told you about the Milagran who arranged a spa visit for her newly widowed neighbor and planned all kinds of activities for the widow’s now fatherless kids as part of a Twelve Days of Christmas celebration? So they would find some joy in what would be a dark holiday season otherwise?
Have I told you about the Milagran and her family who deliver care packages to the families camped out at Children’s Mercy with sick kiddos? Or the Milagran and her 3-year-old daughter who deliver toys there every year on the 3-year-old’s birthday?
Or the Milagran who eats lunch once a week at a public school with a couple of students who are struggling with life?
Shall I go on? Because I could.
At a certain point, I decided maybe kindness and generosity aren’t as rare as we’ve been told. Perhaps the remarkable thing is how unremarkable these remarkable folks are. People are good. People want to do good. But that’s not a desirable story line when you’re selling something. So we’re told to fear and compete. We’re told we need fixed and we’re not enough.
Milagrans refuse to play that game. Milagrans make the conscious effort DAILY not to buy in. Milagrans are not perfect and not preachy, but Milagrans are committed to doing life differently. To weeding out the BS we’re fed. To using what we have and who we are to leave people better than we found them. It’s unbelievably inspiring and it’s around me every day. And it’s around you every day. We just need to decide that we’ll SEE these examples and believe them instead of believing the stories we’re told through these electronic boxes on which we spend so much time. One version is real life and one is an agenda designed to make us think and behave a certain way. I’m done falling for it. I don’t like who I am when I do.
If you’re reading this, I can bet you’re a Milagran. You’re committed to seeking out the good, in other people and in yourself. You realize this takes energy, effort, and intention. And it takes a decision to leave behind a whole lot of nonsense that distracts from what really matters.
Welcome to our community, Milagran. I know you’ll find yourself right at home.
Art from Hello Happiness Card Company