Getting Ready for the “Holy Days”

holy days

It’s Monday, Gang!

Well, these are the days of family, fun and travel! That first category can be tough to deal with sometimes. Those who live alone, lack extended family members or those who live too far away from family and good friends can experience times of crisis during these “holy days”. Now, allow me to elaborate on those words … “holy days”. I know most of the time when we reference the word “holy”, we want to associate it with the church. Well, my use of the word “holy days” means here those “separate days” of any year that we set aside to honor, worship, give gifts and receive them and spend time re-thinking personal and family values as well as spending time with family and loved ones. What if you don’t have any … any of the aforementioned … and have to rely on friends or … oneself?!

I remember when I taught in New York at White Plains High School, teachers were always to “be on the look out for” that student who seemed alone during the holiday, whatever it was, and to make as sure as possible that she/he wasn’t displaying any suicidal tendencies nor depression. I, in particular, made it a point to talk to every student I had, especially the more marginal ones, and see if there was “anything that they needed” that I could provide or help them with … if only a kind word or laughter!! As we mature, we become a bit “hardened” by the cynicism of some and the ignorance of others who fail to see the “tenderness of these times”. So, we hope and believe that “everybody can ‘fend for themselves”, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

So, as this Monday of the Thanksgiving Week begins and the following “holy days” come forth, keep your eyes and ears open for those who may have those “hope-filled” eyes and quiet moments alone … Reach out to them, ask them if everything is okay! Even if it isn’t, trust me – they will appreciate the simple fact that you asked!! Let us not forget those who came before us … our friends and family members as well as those who have passed on …. Peace be still! It is of the utmost importance, as has been displayed by so many events during this year, that WE are the “human family”! Everybody counts!! Everybody matters!!!


John I. Cook

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