You have only to click on a news channel or glance at a newspaper to believe the world has turned into one hot, angry and hateful mess. Terrorism, bombings, poverty, refugee camps, and shootings. Most of the time I want to bury my head under the covers. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself feeling a bit hopeless about it all…until about a month ago.

It was at that time that my husband, Gary, received a serious medical diagnosis. All of a sudden, kindness, love and compassion came raining down upon us. It was then that I realized that it’s in those small (and large) gestures that we can transform the world to include and embrace love as the norm. We each can play a powerful role in turning fear into peace and compassion.

Do you need some examples? Here are some of the things that friends, neighbors, and family have done to help. I’m writing this, in part, to say thank you, but also to help others reading this to see that those seemingly small gestures can have a huge impact.

A neighbor texted me every morning with a one-liner upbeat message. “Thinking of you!” “In my prayers.” Or simply, “The sun is out.” “Blessed!” It was simply nice knowing we were in someone’s thoughts. Another neighbor texted me with “I’m here if you need a hug!”

Cards appeared. They line my counter top and desk and remind me of love and caring.

Several people got in touch and offered medical referrals, help with driving to doctor appointments, or coffee dates with a sympathetic ear.

A neighbor showed up with a big bunch of sunflowers.

A friend arrived with a yummy dinner, a bottle of wine and some coconut macaroons (my favorite.)

A relatively new friend called frequently to simply check in, and offered to just listen if I needed to vent.

One person suggested that this was a time to also be kind to me. What could I do to show myself compassion and also take the time to listen within? (Yes…even I need to be reminded to practice what I preach!)

Did you know that you can actually send Grandma’s Chicken Soup via FedEx?

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive or complete list. It’s simply meant to tell you that you make a difference and that the humble gestures of a smile, a hug, a call, text or an unpretentious meal can make a huge difference in shifting the world towards love.

And PS…at the moment all is well with Gary. Thank God for good doctors and medications and the above-mentioned friends. Not sure what the future holds, but for now I remain grateful and hopeful.