Lighten the Burden

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.” ~Charles Dickens

a gift from my daughter

The statistics are out there. In the last year people have overwhelmingly encountered isolation, feelings of abandonment, frustration, confusion, hopelessness, anger, and a great deal of sadness. Financial ruin, divorce, and suicide rates have skyrocketed. I spoke with my cousin in Colorado and she informed me that the funeral business is currently booming…but not for the reason you might think. It’s not the elderly dying of Covid. It’s young people dying of suicide and drug overdoses, intentional or not.

Our children and young adults are witness to the horrible unrest in our communities. They are bombarded with many ill situations, not just one or two. They are seeing things we never encountered during our young, impressionable years. They see us adults confused and without answers. We are the very people they look to for security and guidance. They need answers. They don’t feel safe. They feel our anxiety because we wear it on our face and in the tone of our voice. They are masked up and separated from their friends. They see families breaking up. Maybe even their own. They are being robbed of their youth. And these beautiful young people feel the weight of all of this every single minute of every single day. We can’t handle it. How do we expect them to?

The young to the very old are struggling to cope. We have watched our beautiful cities burn and the people of our great land become vile. We’ve witnessed the true definition of ugly. We’ve never been dealt such a bad hand before in our lifetime. Maybe the the oldest generation can remember troubling times in their past. But we didn’t see this coming and it sideswiped us from all angles. How could we have prepared?

Regardless of our opinions and/ or theories surrounding the circumstances of the past year the reality is this: we are in deep. And frankly, this is bigger than any of us. So we need each other. This is the time to come together as a family, community, and country. It is our moral duty to help each other through this unchartered territory. People who have never struggled before are struggling now.

So on the upside…there are things we can do. Listen closely to your friends and family. What are they maybe not saying? Befriend your coworkers and the small business owner down on the corner. Take a meal to a shut-in. Watch a young momma’s children so she can have a few moments to herself. Fill a gas tank. Buy donuts from a struggling baker. Offer to help a student overwhelmed with homework. Play basketball with a group of kids at the neighborhood park. As decent human beings we should watch over and aid those who are facing hardships; even if all we have to offer is a listening ear. We are in this together. Doctors, nurses, law enforcement, and first responders need to be lifted up and supported. Theirs is not an easy task.

Let’s bear one another’s burdens. There is something each one of us can do to help at least one person. Lighten someone’s burden if only for a moment. Connect. Smile. Laugh. Love. Talk. Cry. Reminisce. Dream. Complain. Plan. Hug.

Yes, I said hug. One of the most basic yet, most important, human act of love and compassion. It’s not only babies who need to be touched to thrive. Every single one of us needs to have human contact. And we need this more than ever right now.

If we each made a connection with just one person and lightened a burden, what a difference we would make in this world.

Be grateful for your gifts, your talents, your capabilities, your abilities, and your willingness to lift someone to higher ground. ♥️


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