Memorial Day is a time to honor those who served our country, to pay reverence, and express gratitude for the safety and freedom we experience. This is a day where we can build resilience within ourselves, by forming a deeper connection and understanding of what this holiday means to so many people.
I personally don’t have an immediate connection to the military, but Memorial Day became more important to me during my first real job outside of college. I served as a Housing Coordinator for homeless communities in Maine. A large number of people I was able to support were Veterans. I learned their stories, I saw the impact that war had on their lives, and I learned firsthand their commitment and loyalty to our country.
I still remember many of the Veterans whom I had the privilege of helping to find stable housing. I remember one man who had been living in the woods with his dog for 15 years when he finally found support through the VA. When I met him I was blown away by his demeanor, kindness, and resilience. It made me recognize how incredible humans are and how the power of our mindset can truly shape our outcomes.
Since I began studying mindfulness and compassion more deeply and then became a mother, I recognized the importance of paying real reverence on these “days off”. Not just seeing them as a day to do whatever, but as a day to honor history and people who paved the way to a better future.
Today is an opportunity to sit in silence for a minute or two, to express gratitude for Veterans and the privileges we have due to someone else's sacrifice, and to feel more connected to people's choices and the impact they have on each of us, individually and as a whole.