5 (or 6 or Thousands of) Things and People that Renewed My Faith in Humanity This Year

In no particular order:

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1. Batkid in San Francisco

This was one of the highlights of my entire year. Seriously. I tear up just thinking about how an entire freaking city came together to make this child’s wish come true. Even the President got in on it. In that moment, in that day, I hope all of us forgot how cynical, untrusting, and jaded we can be and just marinated in the awesomeness (and the astonishing effort) that went into Batkid’s day. Just an FYI, according to the Make A Wish Fund, who tracks all sorts of “stuff” around their wishes 96 % of all tweets (more than 500,00) about Batkid and the day’s festivities that were deemed “positive”. Pretty impressive, and the authors of the other 4% can just suck it, frankly.

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2. This photo series by Matej Peljhan. It is so amazing I seriously cannot stop looking at it. I got my Master’s in Disability Studies and Photography at NYU, and my thesis was about how people with disabilities were/are portrayed in photography. I wish this series, done with a boy with muscular dystrophy, had been around when I was writing my thesis. It’s so playful and fun and cheeky.

I think it also touched me so much because it reminded me of a time before bed at Double H years ago when the topic was: What would your superpower be if you could pick any of them? There were several votes for invisibility and ability to fly when we came to Carmen, who was in a wheelchair and was greatly limited in movement, who simply said, “I would like to run”. I think about her and that statement often and about the gifts in our life that we take for granted. You can also find the photos here.

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3. The Pope

I don’t think it’s really that often that you get the feeling, “I want to hang out with the Pope”, but this guy really makes me want to invite him over for dinner. I’m not Catholic, so admittedly I don’t know a lot about his politics (although I do know that there is always room for improvement regarding the idea of women in prominent roles in the church and same-sex unions/marriages/etc), but he appears to be leaps and bounds above some of his predecessors in both areas. Plus he used to be a bouncer!!?!

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Elijah is dressed up as one of the rhino guards from Robin Hood. Obviously.

Elijah is dressed up as one of the rhino guards from Robin Hood. Obviously.

4. My kids

Okay, I know I’m biased. But is there anything more life-affirming than witnessing the growth and learning of children? I have totally become one of those people who thinks her children are funny and imaginative beyond belief, who writes down the witty things they say and do because I know I will forget them so quickly, who cannot even believe that I get to be a part of the truly magical time that is their childhood. They are beyond delicious, these two.

5. You.

Seriously. This year has been challenging personally, and I thank all of you who helped out in some way, by asking about my health (currently, knock wood, good), offering to help with my kids, and passing along info about or the name of someone who has Crohn’s for me to contact.

More importantly, I have been so inspired by the ways in which people have come to help others in need. I have witnessed so many acts of kindness, and thousands alone for my friend Barb and her daughter Libby, who is truly one of the most inspiring kids I have ever witnessed. From the amazing a cappella group Queen City Groove, who performed carols and brought cheer to the Jones family completely out of the goodness of their hearts to anyone who purchased a LibStrong shirt or Libby layering necklace or included the Jones family in their thoughts and prayers, thank you. It has been amazing to watch the myriad ways in which we offer support to one another and lift each other up. Please continue to do so and make whatever efforts you can. They do not go unnoticed.

Happy start of 2014 to you. May it be filled with love and light.

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