celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘respect

Memorial Day brings a tidal wave of emotion for many. As we reflect on our freedom, we are reminded of the ultimate sacrifice paid by thousands. To grasp the magnitude of such a solemn gift is nearly incomprehensible.

Today we are traveling almost 500 miles by car and I’m caught in a quandary of thoughts as I look out my passenger-side window.

Cities with grand monuments. Small-town shops flanked with flags. Parades and picnics, celebrating all the benefits we enjoy from the service and sacrifice of others.

I am humbled.

I saw a meme in my newsfeed today that stated “It’s Memorial Day, not Veteran’s Day. Don’t confuse the two.” I was taken aback by the bluntness and I respectfully disagree. While both holidays were created to honor separate entities of service, I feel that any moment of respect shown to our service members, whether past or present, fallen or alive, is worthy of our time.

Driving down Main Street (in more than one town!), your attention is drawn to the details – the kindness shown by community members to honor those who deserve our respect.

As we traversed from north to south, I was struck by the pride shown in various towns for their “Hometown Heroes.” One had vertical banners placed on light posts, depicting the names, photos, and branches of service represented by their citizens.

Another town had rows of flags placed in a field with a simple sign of pride.

To live in a country that allows so many freedoms, including the right to free speech, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness.

And though I am stuck in the passenger seat of my car, I still found a way to show my appreciation to those who passed me by.

Saw this quote in a Real Simple magazine and felt inspired for the day:

“Neither poverty nor wealth defines us… our empathy is the highest expression of our shared nobility”

~ Vaddey Ratner

The article, titled “My Father Taught Me to Value Every Human Life”, spoke of how the author blessed a beggar as a child with not only hot food, but honor and respect by removing her sandals, as was the sign of deference in Cambodia.  Another quote that jumped out at me was this:

“We are all beggars.  It doesn’t matter what we wear – rags or silk.  We each ask the same of life.  No matter how impoverished a man may be, his life is worth as much as any other and deserves our respect.”

Powerful words, powerful message.  Who will you bless today with YOUR kindness and respect?

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