Since 1998, January 24 has been celebrated as Compliment Day. Your goal for today is simple: compliment (sincerely!) as many people as you can. (Telling people “thank you” for very specific things can get you bonus points too.)
Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Since 1986, January 21 (the midpoint between Christmas and Valentine’s Day) has been known as National Hugging Day. The holiday began in the U.S., was copyrighted by Kevin Zaborney, but has spread to many countries including Canada, England,
Germany, Russia, and Australia. Zaborney wished to encourage people to show affection.
Even if you aren’t much of a “hugger,” you can still find ways to show affection today – spend time with your loved ones, smile at those you pass in office or grocery store, or even stop by a nursing home and hold a resident’s hand for a few minutes while you talk. A nursing home resident is often starved for human touch.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Throughout the U.S., the third Monday of January is celebrated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in honor of the great civil rights activist. In his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” of 1963, MLK said:
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This quote references Isaiah 40 (which is also quoted in Luke 3 in reference to John the Baptist)
Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
March on Washington 1963
A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Apparently 2012 begin at midnight last night, even though I was fast asleep. It would seem time still waits for no man – or woman for that matter.
Check out http://allrecipes.com/recipe/new-years-day-black-eyed-peas/ for a traditional New Year’s Day dish. The tradition originated when some people thought the black eyed peas would bring good luck and wealth throughout the year since they look somewhat similar to coins. I doubt that any of us will see a great change in our finances from eating beans on New Year’s Day, but I still enjoy the tradition.
Here are two verses on beginnings to consider as we start the new year:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise.” Psalm 111:10 (NIV)
“This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11 (NIV)