She appears everyday in our living rooms. We sit down, DVR, dance, laugh and of course, cry with her. She is our best friend, our sister. Ellen Degeneres is many things, but the one thing she is not is special.
My heart shattered on Wednesday as I watched her show get interrupted once again with breaking news of a mass shooting. Why? Why is there so much evil in the world? Why can’t I have just one hour of the day to laugh and see someone give kindness and hope to the people that need it and deserve it most.
Why is there such heartache? Why can’t people go to the movies anymore? To the mall? To school? Why was my daughter born early? Why did she get cancer? Why do parents have to bury their children and I did not? Why did I have an eating disorder? Why did I recover and yet so many still struggle or lost their lives to the deadliest mental illness? Why? Why? Why?
There are so many awful things that happen to good people. It isn’t fair and it feels overwhelming if you stop and thing about it.
As I sat on my bed in disbelief and clouded in the “Whys” of life, my heart could only come up with one antidote for the hurt: kindness.
Easy enough, right? Just be nice to one another. Ellen reminds of this everyday.
“Be kind to one another”
There is no question why so many, myself included, are drawn to Ellen. Her kind heart explodes off our televisions and her smile is contagious. We get one hour every day to feel and see the good in this world.
But Ellen isn’t special. She isn’t any different than you or I. We can all spread the same joy and kindness. Well, we might not be able to give a car to a single mother, but we can buy her a cup of coffee or look her in the eye and give her a genuine smile as we pass in the grocery aisle.
While kindness will not cure childhood cancer, the generosity and messages we received during Marjorie’s treatment helped ease our aching hearts.
Kindness will not stop a young girl from engaging in eating disorder symptoms, but telling her you care about her and believe in her recovery might plant a seed of hope she can draw on later in life.
Kindness might not stop terrorism or mass shootings, but it helps knowing that there IS more good than evil on this earth.
We need each other. We are all connected on this planet whether we want to be or not. It is our choice whether to choose to live with kindness or with anger in our hearts or even worse – with apathy to change. The choice is simple.
I stand (and dance) with Ellen. I choose kindness.