“Whatever You Are, Be a Good One” (or, A Note of Gratitude)

Almost everyone is familiar with the Abraham Lincoln saying, “Whatever you are, Be a good one,”


It seems so simple – to be good – but I recently found new meaning in Honest Abe’s words.

After my recent hospital  adventures, I decided to be open about my medical struggles — I wrote about it, I made it public knowledge, I accepted it as a challenge to overcome, and am not shy about the lessons I’m learning about life, living, myself, etc.

And I’ve noticed: when I’m bare, just telling my story how I’m living it, people have risen up and given me so much emotional support. It’s stunning.


After posting my original story to Facebook, messages came rolling in — childhood friends with funny autoimmune disease pics and college friends bringing back old nicknames guaranteed to bring a smile to my face filled my inbox, friends texted encouragement, and even the girl at the Farmers Market who provides my juicing fuel said she thought about me during the week and hoped I was doing better.

All of it blew me away!

It’s completely easy to do nothing, say nothing, BE nothing. But everyone CHOSE to be kind and loving… and expressive. Muslim friends, Christian friends, Buddhist friends all offered prayers. Atheist and agnostic friends sent love and encouragement. Doctor friends reached out Werth medical advice and research tools. Clean-living friends sent their favorite recipes and product recommendations. People took time from their lives to be kind or helpful or funny… Whatever their method of showing love, they did it. (That’s all we can ask for and/or give, I suppose.)

And I am oh-so-grateful.

In times that the whole world seems to be splintering, my friends showed me that there is still goodness. We don’t have to look alike or believe the same or agree on the arbitrary matters in life, but we can share friendship that transcends time and events. (That’s how you get teenage girls to get along, right? Find a common enemy.)

Maybe they have had their own health issues. Maybe they have had a loved one with health issues. Maybe they know what it’s like to be scared. Maybe they know what its like to struggle. Maybe they are in their own struggle. Maybe it’s their religious beliefs. Maybe it’s just how they believe they should treat others. I don’t know all the reasons that motivated everyone to reach out, but I am grateful that they took time to lift up one of their fellow humans.

Going through the list of messages, I am the connecting thread. But there is one thing that, like Lincolns quote, is so general it seems too simple:
Everyone who reached out is a person.

We are all from different backgrounds. We all went through different conditioning. We have different families who have different beliefs. We look different. We act different. We all have our own unique views on life. But at our core, there are basic and simple needs, wants, and ideals that can bind us together.

The lowest common denominator is that we are all people. And if being a person is the ONE thing we can be, I’m glad to see so many being good ones.