I was watching CBS Sunday Morning as I am wont to do and there was a story about the awesome organization called Operation Gratitude. It was started by a stay-at-home mom right around 9/11 and is going strong 10 years later. The founder, Carolyn Blashek, told the story of how she was inspired to start the group.

One day, as she was working at her volunteer job at the airport, a distraught soldier came in to talk to her. He was home to bury his mother. His wife had left him and his infant daughter had died. He said, “I have nobody who cares about me now. I’m going off to war and I don’t even care if I make it back. No one will care if I don’t.”

Carolyn was struck by this and started Operation Gratitude so that soldiers abroad would know that they had a reason to come home. They had someone out there who cared.

Over the last few days, in tweets I’ve seen and posts I’ve read, the stress of the last year has become almost tangible. It’s holiday time. Is it harder to get your kids all of those presents they want? Is it hard to go without a big tree this year? Is it hard to wonder where you and your family will be at this time next year? Or does it seem like you’ll never get to a place where the holidays can be happy for you? Does it feel like no one out there really cares about you?

I don’t care about being sappy if it makes you smile

In the online world, we are all sort of floating along like those clumps of seaweed you see on the tips of ocean waves. Sometimes we clump together, other times we just float on by.

If there is any time of year when we should clump together, it’s now. If there’s any year when this time of year should be a clump together time, it may be this year. The world is so full of uncertainty. The toll of numerous years of economic turmoil is weighing heavily on people. And 2012? Well, it’s still a great big mystery, isn’t it?

So how do we clump together? Well, I’m reaching out to you here, with this post, and I’m saying that even if you are feeling low right now…even if you didn’t meet even one of your goals for this year…even if you are sure that no one really cares about you…I care. There’s probably not much I can do for you, and that’s frustrating. But I’m here. And other people are here who care about you. And I bet you’re there for someone else who may be feeling the same way.

Sure, this is what some people might call sappy stuff, but if my being sappy lets one person feel a little better for a short period of time, heck, that’s an easy trade, isn’t it?

These are hard times, and many people, to quote Bill Murray in Scrooged, are having a hard time getting their miracle to happen. Now is a great time to reach out to people and say, “You know what, you’re awesome. And I’m proud to know you.”

Hey. You’re awesome. And I’m proud to know you.

Hang in there.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cliph/23730678/ via Creative Commons