One of my mom’s favorite Christmas songs was Silver Bells by Dean Martin. Another favorite artist, Patti Page and her version of Silver Bells was another favorite. Patti Page’s version of Silver Bells begins with a series of soul captivating set of lyrics. When I ponder these lyrics, I think about our focus for December, cordiality.
The soul captivating lyrics, “Christmas makes you feel emotional, it may bring parties or thoughts devotional. Whatever happens, whatever may be, here is what Christmastime means to me.” As the lyrics continue, “city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas. Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile, and on every street corner you hear, Silver Bells.”
The Feeling of Joy
To be cordial means to be courteous and gracious, warm. Of or relating to the heart, stimulating, heartfelt, sincere. As I continue to engage in the holiday style and meet people passing by, I wonder about the emotion and devotion of those I meet. In addition, I struggle to see the feeling of peace and joy in the air.
Christmastime, for me, means finding peace in the hearts of others and spreading love by greeting someone with a smile and a kind word. The end result is the feeling of joy. While I continue with these thoughts, I get saddened with the reality of what I find. People are truly stressed, burnt out and what appears to be void of emotion. I’m not saying that everyone I meet is struggling in this way, but I’m hard pressed to find the majority of people with feelings of joy.
To continue, there is almost a mesmeric and hypnotic spirit of humanity, a heavy level of unhappiness. We seem to be evolving as a society that is void of emotion and when we have emotion, it is an outburst of behaviors that are unacceptable. Is the silence and void of eye contact from the person we pass a protective barrier of fear? Or is it that we are so stressed that we just can’t be cordial to someone purchasing an item? Or what about greeting a passerby with kindness?
I think, sometimes, that the anecdote to resolve this is to put away our smart phones and turn off the media on the television. People may or may not agree with me, but I think the use of technology has created a place of robotic-like qualities with our social interactions and the media hypnotizes us to a point that we cannot think for ourselves.
Whatever the reason, the spirit of giving, giving from the heart, is troubling. The cordiality of humanity is missing, not just this time of year, but all year long. I ponder how to fix this. I know it is easier to be warm, courteous and gracious when we are functioning at the top of our game and have an abundance of energy. So, how do we deal with, what I call, energy freeloaders?
I believe it is about setting boundaries. And yes, it is possible to still be kind and courteous when you set boundaries. Believe it or not, boundaries help to make it easier to be cordial. When we set healthy boundaries, we begin to learn where we are placing our energy. We begin to learn what/who is draining our energy and making us feel less than, well, human.
Acts of Kindness
The last thing I want to share is something my mom always said to me. “Just because you are having a bad day, doesn’t mean the person you greet needs to share in that bad day.” Be the season of giving with kindness and cordiality. Giving doesn’t have to cost money and it doesn’t have to rob us of being kind to ourselves and of our energy.
So, start by putting down your phone and turning off the media. Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Pay attention at how often you do smile, then go out in the world and greet someone with a smile. Say a kind word or hold the door for someone. These are all acts of kindness without robbing your energy and it just may lift the heavy load that someone else might be carrying. Be the CORDIAL change you wish to see in the world…because love wins and hope grows, leaving us with the peace, love and joy throughout the year.