For most of my single life I was comfortable being single. But even when I was content being single didn't mean I wasn't feeling lonely on certain occasions. One of the hardest holidays for me as a single person was Thanksgiving. It is not a romantic or festive holiday — it’s a quiet, family holiday.
Similarly, Mother’s Day is another quiet, family holiday that can be challenging for those who have lost their mother, and for those who want to be mothers and aren’t. If you’re not close to your family physically or emotionally, any holiday could be a drag.
I’d always known we have many simple yet profound reasons to feel gratitude, even in our darkest moments — thank you for my eyes that see flowers, my ears that hear the birds, my nose that smells the ocean breeze. I had a long list, and I meant every bit of it.
Yet one Thanksgiving morning in particular, I felt very depressing and couldn’t shake the feeling of ingratitude.
Then, as often happens in those moments, I recall my favorite quote from Dalai Lama.
"The creation of a more peaceful and happier society has to begin from the level of the individual, and from there it can expand to one's family, to one's neighborhood, to one's community and so on."
So, an idea popped in my head.
Some of my friends around the world who were single and without large or close families. I would call everyone I could think of in that category and wish him/her a sunny, Happy Thanksgiving.
With the first call, my mood lightened. With my second call, I felt “almost good.” By the fifth call, I was positively elated and knew this would be a new tradition.
Remembering who might have just ended a relationship around Valentine’s Day, remembering who is alone on Thanksgiving, remembering who’s without their parent or has experienced loss on Mother’s or Father’s Day, and calling them to share love — it’s a small way to make this a better world.
As Mother’s Day approaches and shops are filled with soppy cards and pretty flowers, some people who have lost their mothers might feel a sense of emptiness and dread.
So this Mother's Day lets reach out and help brighten someone's day.