Will Kindness and Empathy Go Viral?

Dear Friends,

I am gazing out on a landscape that is covered in a thick fog. Through the
fog, several mountain peaks can be perceived in the far distance. The fog
and the clouds commingle with the horizon. Although I prefer the warm,
clear mornings, I appreciate the contrast because it allows me to focus my
attention and enjoy my view from a different perspective. Stay present to
your surroundings today as you go about your activities wherever you are.
Breathe in and exhale with intention and attention.

Life in many parts of the country is returning to somewhat normal. On
my Saturday outing, I noticed that most stores around town were open but
pedestrian traffic was light. In conversations with shop owners, they said
that people are either visiting the beach towns after months of not being
able to or were staying home to avoid getting caught in the heavy rains
that were predicted for this weekend. I am hopeful that people won’t let
their guard down too soon for all our sakes as we return to our routines.

The past few months have allowed most of us to live a different kind of
life. With a mandate to stay home, we have been given the opportunity to
examine how we were spending our time before the pandemic. In these
times of reflection, I have come to realize with greater clarity the simple
things in life that have brought me great fulfillment. I have noticed that
generosity and goodness continue to exist despite the uncertain days
ahead. I entertain the idea that kindness and empathy will go viral.

A few days ago, I came across a chapbook that was written by a teacher
from Atenas as a fundraiser in 2005. The legends and recollections in it
reflect a time when “sitting and visiting” encouraged conversations that
lifted everyone’s spirits. Music and poetry were always present and they
served to connect people and deepen relationships in the community. I
know that people in our town continue to care for their neighbors, often
in anonymity, despite personal obstacles, and always with joy.

Have a great Sunday and a terrific week, Marietta

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