21 December 2009

The Measure of a man is one who lends a hand that’s what my father said….

If you’ve been a reader of this blog over the years you will know that this Vince Gill song is one of my favourites from 2007 and at this time of year it’s become my holiday post. While I don’t consider myself a country music fan every once in awhile a tune will grab my attention. This song has done more than that – it’s stayed with me since I first heard it on the CMA’s. The message of this song is clear and obvious. It’s not about what you earn it is indeed what you give away.

A few months ago I was looking at a friend’s myspace page. In her ‘heroes’ category the first person she listed was her Mom who “raised me single and poor but I never knew it”. Something about that has stayed with me. Knowing what I know of this family it’s very clear - it’s about Love (‘Love Actually is all around us’ according to Writer/Director Richard Curtis). All this got me thinking – the song – her words – my favourite movie….what if, during this time of financial struggle for so many, we think about not just giving some cash here and there to our favourite charity or local Salvation Army, but we think about Love and how we can give it away.

As you well know this has been a HUGE year for me – LOTS of changes. A big move. Travel. Lots of time zones. I’ve logged over 11,000 miles on the roads of the US and Europe, flown over 15,000 miles, packed up and unpacked more times than I care to remember. All of it has been worth it and none of it could have been done without the support of those I love. I wonder – did I get all this Love because I gave/give Love away?

The other day a friend informed me that her best friends 35 year old brother decided to stop 3 years of dialysis. I don’t know him other than knowing that he’s a very talented musician but I’m touched by his decision. I wonder – aside from the obvious reasons - did he make it because he felt that he’d given and gotten enough Love?

My father this holiday season informed me that he would be short on presents for us kids because he was sponsoring a ‘needy’ family and wanted to give them a better Christmas (and it’s not like I need anything). He barely knows them – but he wanted to help. While he was telling me this I got the sense that he wanted to do more for them. Meanwhile I feel like I got an amazing gift knowing he is giving his Love and support to these strangers.

I wonder - do we ever feel that we’ve gotten or given enough Love? That’s a very hard question to answer. When I look back on this year I can say I gave of myself to those I love and maybe barely know – but was it enough? How do we quantify Love? I think when we give – we actually get. Sometimes it doesn’t take much. Maybe a smile to a stranger or kind words to a friend who needs to talk. Hell, sometimes all I want is for someone to be there. It’s very simple. I can only hope with all my heart that the people I know feel as though I gave enough Love. I sure as hell got it.

So no matter how much you made this year or how little – know that even the littlest gesture can mean so much. Some measure of Love is all it takes to make someone’s day. Irrespective of how you define Love – just give it away. Open your heart and do it. As the song says “no matter what you make, all that you can take, it’s what you give away, What You Give Away…”.

Thanks for tuning in…HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! Until next year…CHEERS!!!