Nancy Jo Eckerson: Wrap the world in love with acts of kindness - The Buffalo News

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Nancy Jo Eckerson: Wrap the world in love with acts of kindness

It seems to me that each and every day we have a choice to feel good or to muddle around in the abyss of life’s struggles. Sometimes I muddle, but most days I try to go for the gold.

In the biblical sense, everything works together for good, for those who are called according to their divine purpose. I love that, and it brings me great solace during the achy nights of sadness or the difficult days of strife to repeat those words as my mantra.

It’s true that into each life a little rain must fall, but when the rain comes, we have choices. Stay inside, warm and dry, or throw on our boots and raincoats and go puddle-jumping our way through the torrents. Remember, though, with the warm and dry choice, also comes isolation. And that, I believe, is not the goal of life on this Earth.

My most recent foray into the befuddling world of choices involved a challenge – to love or not to love – that pitted me, face to face, with one of those determinedly walled-off humans. Fear came masked as a lifetime belief that shows of affection, cards and love letters are frivolous and far too simplistic to be of value.

Granted, it’s risky to love, but it’s far riskier to live isolated and alone. Detachment through denial from a painful past creates a human-to-human disconnect that has the potential to destroy our world. And although denying a broken heart and forcibly moving on seems brave, in the end, these people are carriers of a disease – separation. For people such as these, silly holidays, cards and love letters are considered a total waste of time or are reduced to an evil Hallmark ploy.

But I disagree wholeheartedly! I believe, as the famous poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox writes, that we ought to “Love much. Earth has enough of bitter in it.” Realistically, love letters and shows of affection offer a glue to keep us connected. I would even venture to say that love letters are divinely inspired where both parties benefit. Creating them and receiving them elevate a person’s spirit. That reality seems vastly more desirable than embroiling myself in the cynical, dark concept of the futility of life.

I am blessed enough to be a romantic to the very core of me. Read the “Song of Solomon.” Every verse shows that romance is a gift from God. And this love can be shown by simple acts of thoughtfulness, not just by full-blown tomes of poetry and loving prose.

I grew up in the ’60s. My daughter loves that I was a hippie. I didn’t do the drugs, or the massive orgy/commune lifestyle, but I lived the message. Make love, not war your quest. And from what I see now, this world is in great need of a ’60s revival.

So, in that vein, I have opted to fill my sometimes lonely evenings writing anonymous love letters to perfect strangers. I take all of the love I have stored up in my heart and embellish a lovely note card with words of encouragement. Tucked between products for sale on a store shelf, the little note will hopefully edify another soul who will pick up the envelope that says, “To Another Perfect Stranger … Yes, That Means You!”

Consider what it might mean to make the effort to show love, rather than bitterness, sarcasm and negativity. By the way, sarcasm is a Greek word meaning the tearing of flesh. I, personally, would prefer to have my heart stroked. Wouldn’t you?

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