‘It’s not my business,’ Scrooge returned. ‘It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!” – A Christmas Carol
The words on the page struck me like a slap in the face. Who, when reading A Christmas Carol identifies with Scrooge? Suddenly I found that I did. I have read these words before, and heard them in every iteration of the story on screen, but now I heard them and found myself guilty of approaching the world with the same sentiment.
I am private to a fault. Some of it stems from selfishness and some of it stems from fear, but the result is the same regardless of motive. My arms and hands have been given to me to provide comfort and often I’ve kept them drawn hard to my sides.
When thinking about choosing a word for the year, the one that came to mind over anything else was, “hello.” I couldn’t shake it, and so it stuck. My word for the year speaks of introductions made and questions asked in all sincerity, encountering the people that come into my path with interest and gratitude.
I came across this paragraph in the library book I’m reading and murdered my librarian sensibilities with a little stroke from my mechanical pencil:
It is easy to compartmentalize life. To say: ‘This is when I feed the hungry, and then I am done.’ But at the heart of the Corporal Works of Mercy is making yourself available to those in need, even when it isn’t convenient, even when you don’t expect it. – Mercy In the City
I am a stay at home mom in rural Texas with two little babies to look after. I don’t encounter homeless people on a regular basis, but I encounter needy people every day. People who need to be loved and known and loved anyway, or welcomed into my home in hospitality. So that’s where I’m gonna start.
And lest, dear extrovert, you think this will be an easy resolution for me, here is a glimpse at the source of my introversion. We are dealing with an uphill battle here, perhaps.
I have been all over Etsy the last two days searching for a “hello” necklace among the heaping piles of shiny Hello Kitties that I wish I could weed out with a perfectly timed Boolean “not”. Then I second-guessed myself and thought that grasping after jewelry is truly beside the point. Then I third guessed myself when I remembered that I chose a word last year and forgot about it two-whole-seconds later. Anyway. There might be something gold and letterful caressing my neck in the near future. Here’s hoping.