To the Editor:
I have been helping to promote an outreach event for my church and realize this should have been done months ago. As I am scrambling around, posting on Facebook and other social media outlets, I came across an article I wrote a couple years ago with intentions to share on a blog someday. It relates to social media and the constant “humble bragging.”
What is that? Sharing various posts, pictures or a bunch of hashtags all saying how proud we are of our children’s achievements, the fact we did an act of kindness for a stranger or sharing our workout routine. I am not saying I haven’t done any of these things because the Lord knows I am just as guilty as the rest.
However, two years ago, I promised myself I would not be that person anymore. I told myself that I don’t have to share every good deed my family does because what really matters is that we did those good deeds to be helpful and selfless and that should be enough.
It saddens me that we have become quite a narcissistic society and have this compelling need to share all our moments of our lives with the world.
I used to make fun of those parents who had bumper stickers saying, “I am a proud parent of an Honor Roll Student at xxx school.” I would say to myself, “and how does that matter to me? Do we benefit from this?” No. We do not benefit knowing someone is proud of their kid. I would hope most parents are proud of their children, no matter what their accomplishments are and we do not have to share those feelings or thoughts with the world every day.
As I was reading my article from two years ago, it had me thinking about my goal of promoting our church event. I want everyone to know about this wonderful event that benefits many who are less fortunate and live beyond the zip code of 06484. It is difficult to navigate in this world of social media. We lose sight of what is truly important, especially during this time of year. We get caught up in all the madness and the need to #makememories for posterity.
Don’t get me wrong. I love looking back at my memories that pop up on Facebook showing my kids when they were young. However, I have also come to the conclusion that I don’t need to post every moment, event, occurrence, etc. of my private life just for the sake of sharing and receiving a bunch of “likes.”
Which leads me back to the Christmas Outreach Market my church hosts every year. In the last 11 years, we have raised more than $35,000 to charitable causes. Now, that is pretty special, right? How was this accomplished? Quite frankly, people stopped by, thinking they were going to buy some crafty gift and left instead with a joyful and warm heart knowing they donated to a special cause and received a card to give to a loved one as a gift in their honor.
The real gift is the joy of giving to others that are in of need help. I want to reflect back and be grateful for those special gifts that aren’t quite tangible, but certainly hold an indelible place in our hearts. God Bless everyone and don’t forget the world is a big place. If we can step outside our personal island sometimes, we will see we have a lot to give with very little effort to spend.
“The Meaning of Life is to Give Life Meaning by Helping Others” — author unknown
Spruce Hill Road, Shelton