So the season of Lent has just begun and my religion teaches us that we should give up something we love, or an activity we enjoy as a way of turning ourselves more to Jesus. Those of us who were raised as Catholics learned at a very young age that you eat fish on Friday during Lent, you donate your spare coins to people less fortunate than you, and you fast on certain days. It is supposed to make you a better person and I’m sure that’s true.
But a few years ago I started to look at things a little differently as Lent approached. I thought I could try to instead channel my efforts into doing something positive every day, something that might help someone. It started out small. Sometimes it was just telling the lady at Dunkin Donuts how much I appreciated how nice and polite she was every day. Other times it was letting someone cut in line without making a fuss. Occasionally it was saying a silent prayer that God would guide someone I loved through a tough situation. And when I was particularly flush it would be making an extra donation to the charity my darling Dad loved more than any other, St. Francis – Friends of the Poor, a wonderful organization that helps the disadvantaged, the poor, the homeless in New York City.
And I’ve continued on this path now for a number of years and always feel a better, more renewed person when Easter Sunday, that most glorious and celebratory day of the year for Christians, arrives. But this year I’ve been motivated by a friend (thank you, Eileen Dolan) who posted an article by someone who said that during the 40 days of Lent she picks a different person every day – even ones she may not like – and offers her prayers that day for that person.
So in that vein and to continue on my path of paying it forward during Lent, I’ve decided I will try to write a short blog every day talking about someone who or something that made me smile or remember, inspired or enlightened me, lifted me up or dried my tears. Because we all have these people and moments and if we don’t tell them when we have the chance, the chance may slip away never to return.
Tomorrow’s blog: my darling Dad who would have turned 90 on March 4.