Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.
– Emily Dickinson
The first stanza of this poem is one that is well known. What I get from this collection of Emily’s words is that Hope doesn’t cost a thing. Granted, the cost of fulfilling those hopes might take more than wishful thinking, but no matter our station in life, we can all afford the miniscule cost of giving another soul hope.
Because it’s New Year’s Eve, and I’ve got other projects calling my name, I’m not going to write my version of Emily’s poem #254 today. I’m going to cross over to my other blog and share my wish for all of you, that as you leave 2021 behind and enter into 2022, you take these words to heart, knowing that you were made for joy.
The kindness of strangers, the devotion of one who loves or simply cares. Emily most certainly knew and exercised both herself, as have you and I. Unable to sleep any later this morning, I rose early and flipped through my catalog of first lines and chose this one. I immediately thought of all of the times others have gifted me with exactly what I was unknowingly in need of and also of those times when strangers or kind hearts have seen an obvious need and spontaneously reached out to take my hand, light my way or lighten my load. Their kindnesses served to increase the want in me to do the same.
A moment in time that would register insignificant in the chronicles of world history could be a catalyst, a lifeboat, or a key to a long locked door. We often have no idea or at least not the full extent of the impact of a small act of kindness. That’s the key to it all though, to the world being a gentler place. If we are living and breathing, if we have eyes to see or ears to detect a need, we have it in us to inspire, to educate, and to influence and affect others in a positive way. May we all rise to the occasion.