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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

Happy Holidays from Dr. Hallowell

Dear Friends,

In a year that is nearing its end amid tragedy, I wanted to reach out to you all and connect.

While Samuel Johnson, one of my heroes since I discovered his work in college, observed some 300 years ago, “We live in a world that is bursting with sin and sorrow,” it is also true that we live in a world that is brimming with goodness and grace, if we can but find it.

When I feel sad or hopeless, I urge myself simply to look around, not with eyes for what’s wrong, but with eyes keen for the details that pack every day with evidence of goodness beyond explanation: the bud that sprouts despite the freeze; the homeless woman on the street who sports red sneakers and an infectious grin; the child who shares her lunch with someone she doesn’t know; the dog who goes over and licks the man who’s asleep on the bench; the grumpy executive who decides to give back what he took; the worm that finds its way across the street without being crushed by a car; the cloud that casts a shade exactly when it was needed most; the song that lifts one stubborn heart enough that it can forgive; the aroma that says you’re home, even though you’re far away.

We live with so little to be sure of.  Life’s all a guessing game.  But I urge myself not to settle for what I can’t help but see, but to see what can’t help but settle my soul.

Last night I went to see a performance of Handel’s Messiah in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York.  It was magnificent beyond words.  The sublime music, the words from the King James Bible, and the connection to all we dream of and hope for filled the room for a precious 2 hours.

Listening, I thought of all the people I connect with, which includes all of you who read these messages I send out, and I thought to myself, this is what we have, and this is very good.  The more we believe in and trust what we have, together, the stronger we become and the more able to rise beyond the sin and suffering with which this world bursts and reach the paradisical permanent place from which we can never be removed.

I wish you all the most joyous of holidays.

Ned

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