Jennifer Gray  |  Editor-in-chief

There’s no doubt this year will be noticeably different for us all during the holidays. For some, it may be the additional spare seat created by the loss of a family member or by the purposeful distance designed to protect them; for others, it may be the loss of income caused by this pandemic or the sickness that’s changed so many things in our culture.

Perhaps Wendy Mass is correct when she said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” But I’d like to add this to that sentiment: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about … until you ask and listen to them.

We come across situations in our everyday lives where we can be better listeners, but we fail to see them because we are too busy rushing through the day without pause or focusing too much on our own needs. We are all guilty of this mistake. I believe, in some small way, the pandemic has begun to help us notice the err in our ways, and created the pause we needed to change them.

If you should happen to find yourself in a dark place this season, I have faith you will meet someone who will listen, should you offer the same of yourself. I encourage you to read the inspirational stories in this special December issue, concentrating on the local non-profits that need help within our community. Because as Norman Peale put it, “When you become detached mentally from yourself and concentrate on helping other people with their difficulties, you will be able to cope with your own more effectively. Somehow, the act of self-giving is a personal power-releasing factor.”

From all of us at Middleburg Life, we wish you and your family a warm Merry Christmas and hopefully a blessed and happier year in 2021! ML

Published in the December 2020 issue of Middleburg Life.