Thursday, December 24, 2015


There is something about this time of the year that makes me sit down and reflect. I guess maybe it is because we are getting close to closing the book on one and preparing to start another; or maybe it is the Christmas and Holiday spirit that spreads its way throughout my veins. Whether it is both or something else, my mind travels to the past days, weeks, months.

Having written and published a book on growing up and living with a brain injury and trying to promote it (although promote for me is a loose term) as well as selling at various book fairs, is quite a bit different than writing a blog or magazine article, or even delivering a presentation. It is a one on one, more intimate setting, where I talk a little about my journey. Opening up and disclosing, whether to someone I already know or a stranger, (though talking to someone I know personally can sometimes be more difficult) still at times shortens my breath and quickens my heartbeat. I tend to relax as I am asked questions and explain, but not always. There are occasions I am overwhelmed, and whether it is innocence or arrogance, I am sometimes stumped at the questions or thoughts of what brain injury is.

All I want is for brain injury to be accepted and understood, not stigmatized or misconceived.
All I want is for me to be accepted and understood. I think I am; I know I am; am I?

And this when the travels of thought go beyond me and onto family, friends…. life.

Through my work in non-profit I hear so many stories of compassion and giving. We should be a compassionate and giving, as well as inclusive society, but are we?

I feel like I have given a lot of myself over the year; yet I never feel like I have given enough.

We all need bigger hearts and bigger pockets. There are so many who could use our support.

“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!”

I don’t want to necessarily compare people to the Grinch, and “Christmas” could easily be replaced with “Life”, but I think Dr. Suess had something there.

I sometimes think this world uses too much and loves too little. I feel it within. Society is in too much of a hurry, and the broken, troubled, challenged and scared, get left behind, walked over… or even just ignored. These patterns need to change and I don’t even know where or how to start? I don’t even know if I should start or if I have the confidence to start; but I can try... all I can do is try.

Is this silly of me? Is this a silly thing to want bigger hearts and bigger pockets? Is it silly to be reflecting on life this way? On everything and everyone and not just on me? Is it unreasonable to ask for things, people, to slow down and get along?

We should all be loved; we should all be accepted. (Well, you know, unless you’re just a meany up to no good… but maybe even then. Is that crazy talk?)

I want to erase loneliness; I don't want anyone to feel that there is nothing left and no reason.

My reflections come back to me in the moment and I am dumbstruck of what to do. Maybe write another Cheque or stick some cash into a Salvation Army kettle; lend verbal or emotional support; go to a food bank and help stalk selves; deliver presents or food hampers. Hmm… there is just so much that we can all get involved and work together.

While I cannot be physically present with so many, my heart goes out to them all. My words are for everyone, in this post and in others; from social media and in person. My sincerest love, best wishes, empathy and compassion go out to all family, friends, the less fortunate and in need; to those fighting with an illness and those caregivers affected by it.

Merry Christmas! Merry Life!



1 comment:

  1. Mark,
    There are different stages for everyone in life, and you have to accept that. Just because you have a good heart and would do the absolute best to help out, does not mean that you would have no difficulty deciding who needs your help, and who can really help themselves.
    But there are many philanthropists out there with the same ideas in mind, always look for where you can help out, but don't forget, you have experiences and a perspective in life- many just do not have.
    It's not their fault, nor is their level of focus.
    Everyone grows up different, I'm not saying anything that you don't already know...just, people overly consume because of the realization, no one asked to be here, so the world must serve as a purpose for them.
    People have different goals, but always check your morality.

    I hope you don't mind the lengthy reply ;)