Happy January. And welcome back to reality if, like me, you’re just coming off some vacation days, and still blinking the sleep out of your eyes.
Here at 50 Good Deeds, this is the time of the year when we ponder the most popular posts of the previous year (sorry if I accidentally spit in your eye with that highly alliterative sentence). Then we consider the broader meaning, what it says about our world today, and where we’re headed. We spend at least four minutes on that.
The two top stories of 2016 were favoured for, I think, very different reasons. The most-read tale, “Stem Cell Saviour,” told of saving a life with a transplant. The stem-cell donor from Germany and the transplant recipient from Canada seized an opportunity to meet on common ground, and had a fun-filled, joyful visit. It didn’t hurt that the two stars of the story both happened to be highly photogenic. The bloom of good health will do that to you.
The second-most-read post, on the other hand, was bittersweet. “Send Hugs. They Help” shared new research showing that when we share our problems on social media, it tends to elicit supportive, emotional, lengthy comments and messages from our friends – a lot more so than if we’re posting about, say, our recent success in finding the perfect off-off-white paint colour to complement our off-off-off-white upholstery. These messages of support can be a great comfort, surrounding us with care.
I call this story bittersweet because it was dedicated to a little boy whose precious life was abruptly, tragically lost after someone made a sloppy mistake. His family was shattered, but his mom took the time to write: “Every text, [Facebook] message and phone call reminds you that there is light outside of the darkness that exists in our life at the moment.”
What do these two posts have in common – why did you find these both so engaging? The only connection I can draw is that, well, they were about connections. People reaching out to other people. Caring, giving, helping, rescuing. That’s what we do, isn’t it? It’s part of being human.
Let’s continue to be very human in 2017.