The Gift of Hope

The Gift of Hope
By Kris Costa

Thinking about the holidays brings different thoughts to different people. To some, the holidays bring thoughts of festive occasions,family gatherings, warm fuzzy feelings of love, hugs and togetherness amidst the aromas of baking cookies and hearths ablaze. A deeply religious and faith filled experience, the holidays may bring some a chance at a renewed spirit, a reconciliation of the heart, a purification of soul and a humbling to the virtues of life that cannot be bought, boxed, or wrapped at any cost. Then of course, there are the children who excitedly await the long holiday break from school, sleeping late in the morning and receiving gifts in celebration of their faiths.

Then there are others…
Others who miss, others who despair, others who disappear. They live among us, but they are invisible. They see us, but we
often do not see them. They are breathing, but they are ghosts.They are the broken, the disheartened, the suffering, the abused, the confused, the lonely. They exist outside of time, outside of conventional functional reference points, outside of happiness, and outside of an inner light. But they shouldn’t.

I believe every human being who is born possesses a unique energy. Energy is evidenced when a baby is crying, breathing, moving, etc. This comes from somewhere else and exists for a reason. Every human being is also born with a brain and a capacity to learn. For some, even at this early point of human existence, some things may go terribly wrong. For
others, catastrophic and tragic events can occur further along in life, either with singularity, or in a series, and still there are some who suffer a series of hardships that become just too heavy to bear. Crushed under the cruel weight of circumstance, something falls apart within them. There are often times, even the strongest cannot hold on to that blade of grass that sees the sun, and then, they disappear.

Who would you be if you were totally alone? What would you enjoy if you had no one to share it with, would anything even

Not withstanding those whom harm others as a way to feel even a flicker of movement within, I am addressing those who are lonely, those who are abused, those who are poor, those who are suffering or sick, those who are making an effort to serve somehow, or just to survive on their own. They are part of our communities, part of our culture.

However, In a time when independence and distance from family, speediness of technological communications, multi-cultural expression and lifestyle freedoms are becoming more and more accepted in societies around the world, the meaning of “it takes a village” seems at times to be long forgotten. But it does take a village. Shouldn’t acceptance bring villages closer together? Or is it just that “allowance” has increased and not necessarily “acceptance”? Allowance is very different than acceptance. Allowance means permission, but not in my neighborhood. Acceptance is practiced differently.

So how does one practice acceptance? One answer to that question is though service, to each other. Do you live near a
hospital? Become a hugger. It is not a secret that hospitalized babies who are held more get healthier faster, but awareness of infant hugging programs may be elusive. Seek these programs out. In a study published in the 2003 Journal of Pediatric Psychology, results showed that preterm infants who were held and stroked were calmer, gained weight faster and slept better. This was ten years ago. Today, too many hospital nurses are too busy, parents may be absent or ill, and volunteers are a needed and cost effective solution to provide this necessary human contact to infants who are in desperate need. Training and background checks are necessary for volunteers but the time and effort involved seem well worth the investment. Volunteers who help babies heal report that they, themselves, benefit the most.

Read the rest of the article on pages 12-13

Kris Costa
Editor Mindset Self-Defense Magazine
Born and raised an only child in New York City, and exposed to Law Enforcement from an early age, Kris learned the benefits of situational awareness, setting boundaries and enforcing them, as essential components of daily life. During her college career, Kris studied journalism, television production, corporate and criminal law, and frequently was called upon to assist on news gathering assignments throughout the city, either as a reporter or part of the production crew. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, and her desire to protect the beauty of the human spirit, Kris brought her vision to life through Mindset Publications in July 2013. In her spare time, Kris’ enjoys the theatre, and travels extensively, with frequent visits between the west coast and her hometown.

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