Prefer to listen? Click below.

I pride myself in being a optimistic gal, always looking for the good, even when it seems impossible to find. But, right now… My heart is feeling sad. Last night, my mom cooked her famous potatoes with garlic and parsley, and I invited over some friends. Over the course of several hours, we laughed, shared a great bottle of wine and, for a brief time, we forgot about what’s going on in the world.

After the evening was over, I decided to curl up on the sofa and watch the late night news.

I rarely watch TV (unless it’s Netflix), because it’s either depressing or useless, but I don’t want to be completely oblivious to the happenings in the world. So from time to time I tune in.

Within a couple of minutes of turning on the TV, I heard an anchorman tell the story of a young, precious boy who was abused and died at the hands of his own mother.

In that moment, the tears began to stream down my face.

Tears for that little boy, the victims of Paris, the refugees who are running for their lives, those who are living in fear…it all came pouring down my face.

All I could think about was while I was laughing and sipping wine, this little, innocent child was being abused and murdered.

Furthermore, hearts are breaking all over the world as violence and evil invade people’s lives.

The questions began to roll through my head, mostly about my own fortunate place in life.

I’m not sure if this ever happens to you, but….

Sometimes, I feel guilt about having such a beautiful life.

Sure, I’m no stranger to hardship.

An emotional childhood
Divorce x 2
Single parenthood
Battles with depression
Weight and body issues

But, when I think about it, all in all, I’ve been extremely blessed compared to:

Many parts of the world that have been torn apart by war
Extreme poverty
And, now, the little boy that I can’t get out of my head

It always leaves me to wonder:

How did I become so blessed?

I don’t have those answers.

But, here’s what I often have to remind myself:

(1)  If we want to truly help others, we must celebrate and honor our good fortune.

(2)  We must use our resources wisely to make the world (and ourselves) a better place.

While I sat there, feeling so much sadness for that little boy who was murdered (nonetheless by the person that should have loved him the most), along with my all of the other meaningless violence in our world, I made a silent commitment to me and to God.

To love more than I thought possible.
To be more grateful.
To give more.
To shine brighter in the darkness.

Living a beautiful, generous life is THE best gift you can give the world. {tweet it}

I also decided that I’m going to adopt a child for Christmas in honor of the little boy who’s celebrating in the heavens. Each year, there are children who will go unnoticed, who Santa Claus will pass by, whose hearts are breaking.

There are programs available in communities where we, as a community, can become a Santa to these kids.

As I started thinking about children, I also began to think about all the souls who could use some love this holiday season.

Here is a list of some of my favorite charities during the holidays.

I wanted to share this with you because I strongly believe this community can make the world a better place.

This is the good I seek, even when it seems there’s little left. I happen to believe there is far more light in the world than the media portrays, and I also believe that each of us can make an impact. As we enter this season of giving, I simply feel compelled to ask you to think about your gifts to the world. Not only can you give monetarily, but you can also offer the world one more smile, one more compliment, one more helping hand. Who wants to join me in giving more this season? In celebrating and honoring our good fortune. And in using our resources to make the world (and ourselves) a better place. Share with the French Kiss Life Community in the comments. With a Grateful Heart, signature

Did you grab the FKL Manifesto?