HAPPINESS: Be kind as you celebrate Christmas


By Aliker David Martin

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Aliker uses Smart Board

How do you celebrate an achievement? It could be through a hearty laughter or dancing like the football stars celebrating a touchdown. While other people celebrate Christmas season by eating and drinking, I chose an act of kindness that would bring me fulfillment.

One of my best friends invited me over for Christmas with a fully paid flight. We met in Africa while he was an intern student of Notre Dame. I felt obligated to pass on the kindness. I decided to spend time in an elementary school visiting pupils with autism before they could break off for Christmas. I was greatly inspired by the world of possibilities in the lives of these children. Indeed, disability is not inability. My greatest sensation was seeing the children use Apple installed operating system in Smart Boards. Smart Board is an interactive white board developed by Smart Technologies. Relating and listening to these children gave me a strong sense of purpose. Any effort to meet our sense of purpose brings us happiness. Besides, I also treated my self in the evening to a great dish and some drinks. If you treat your self-kindly, it will reciprocate the gesture by bringing you joy and high spirits.

Having said that, I implore you to identify a sense of purpose this festive season and be kind. In Dalai Lama’s words, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion” Give yourself a treat to find happiness this festive season. A good massage could be so rewarding to the body just like an act of kindness brings you inner joy and fulfillment.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year

Advertisements

HAPPINESS: Christmas to a childless mother


By Aliker David Martin

God, If I can’t have what I want, let me want what I have” Anonymous

My children are your children

As a child growing up in Africa, the excitement in Christmas was in new clothes, shoes and eating the occasional dish of rice and chicken. Listening to the priest’s sermon today, the statement “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus” captivated me. In my mind, I imagined, “What does Christmas mean to a childless mother? In my culture, the body of a childless mother, is passed through a broken wall for burial as a sign of bad omen while in America, it looks like a lifestyle. Childlessness causes low self esteem. Many childless mothers bear a great feeling of loss and poor health. Take a look at childlessness as talent. We all cannot have the same talent. I may not have the talent to sing just like someone may not have the ability or intention to have children. If you looked at childlessness as a sign of poor health, many people have been born with disabilities but it has not denied them achieving their life’s goals. In their minds, disability is not inability.

During one of my American fundraising trips, I met a generous childless donor. She told me she was too busy pursuing a career and when she was ready to date it was already late to have children. She says at first it made her very depressed. She later realized her passion and goal in life is to serve children in need. This has brought her a lot of joy and satisfaction.

This Christmas, the birth of Christ could mean the birth of a new passion and goal in your life. Prepare for it by opening your heart to kindness just as you prepare to receive the new-born (Jesus Christ). Olbert Schweitzer says, “The only people happy are those helping others” Therefore, your life’s mission could be different from bearing children. Childlessness should not make you unhappy but eager to find out your life’s purpose. Abraham Lincoln once said, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years. Merry Christmas