Thanks, Ellen

Ellen DeGeneres is perhaps the greatest human on the planet.

And no. I’m not just saying that because I recently attended her show and am still star-gazing at how close I was to Rob Lowe.

I genuinely mean she is my favorite human on this Earth (other than my Saint Mother and “Saint in Training” sister).

When we arrived at the show, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was welcomed by 200 other eager fans, all waiting for their chance to meet, and hug, Queen E… (yes, I have my own nickname for her).

Oh, and did I mention that 190 of those fans were women? Even I, a soft 6 at best, had a chance at finding love in that hope(ful) place… see what I did there?

All joking aside, what I learned from attending the Ellen Show stretches far beyond 190 women, and star gazing at celebrities.

The studio had a distinct positive energy that is almost nonexistent in the world we live in today. Between dancing, laughing and high fiving complete strangers for an hour straight, you could say it was an unforgettable experience.

Walking around the set, it is impossible to miss the words “Be Kind” which are printed on every wall, shirt, and human in that building.

What a concept. Be Kind. It amazes me that I had to travel to the heart of LA to have those words ingrained in my mind for the rest of my life.

There was a woman on the show who waited 10 years to get on it. 10 years. Jesus. We made one phone call, drove an hour and walked right in the door. And I thought my life was a struggle. Ellen brought her up on stage, and it was a moment that touched everyone in that audience.

Jordan Siragusa, a first-grade teacher from Charlotte North Carolina, radiates compassion and is known for her kind heart in the classroom. Montclaire is a Charlotte school where a majority of its students are Hispanic, and 90% suffer from high poverty.

Jordan revealed that her students inspire her by working hard despite challenges. She teaches in a way that encourages her classroom to “Be Kind” and to feel just as capable as the next – and it showed in the 4 minutes we all spent with her.

Ellen went on to surprise her with a scholarship to get her Master’s degree, and $10,000 to help with expenses. It was a moment that had most of the audience in tears.

Stories like these make me stop and appreciate the good in our world. I feel as though we become so consumed with the bad that we forget the good.

I think over time, our souls harden. We are hit with past failures and wrong-doings over and over again.  Soon enough, we shut people out for fear of getting hurt again. Being kind becomes something that we used to know, but soon forgot.

Empathy, by definition, is: “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” It is the full capability of you to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and view things from their perspective. The moment you discover you are not the only person walking this Earth who needs help and maybe you have the ability to help them, everything changes.

Empathy and compassion are the two gifts we give the world, and we become more and more alive each time we share that gift. To live beyond the surface reflects our deep-rooted values of being called to serve and love – never stopping until we dive into the soul of each and every person we share the river with.

Even at my low point of running around clubs and partying my life away, I still remember making it a point to know every employee down to the door security guard. It doesn’t matter what your story is or what the other persons is, we should all do our best at putting ourselves in their shoes and walking their walk.

Life is about perspective. Everyone we meet is fighting a battle in which we know absolutely nothing about.

That inspiring show altered the way I view the world and how I choose to interact with people. I will no longer allow someone to walk by me without acknowledging them with a simple smile or hello. A modest smile can be the reason that person decides to keep on living. There are people all around us with pain we fail to see every day. One ‘hello’ can change your life, or another’s, and you won’t know that until you befriend them.

Being empathetic is viewed as a weakness or ‘pathetic’ to most. You cannot be one of these people if you want joy in your life.

I now make it one of my daily goals to find and help at least one person. Sometimes, it’s not every day, but just as long as I attempt it as much as I can, I’m happy. Little things like helping someone move, developing a marketing plan, or talking them through a break-up. Whatever it is, I try my best to find someone to help, and it makes me feel the most fulfilled I’ve felt in a long time.

I recently learned that there is a strange device that gives me a layout of volunteer opportunities…it’s that little thing on my phone called Google. It literally took me five minutes to find something that best suited my capabilities and interests. I have begun feeding the homeless and teaching Autistic kids how to play baseball.

It changed my life. Volunteering helped me appreciate the things I do have, and in the process, I get to help people who are not as fortunate as I am. This simple act alone softened my soul, bringing me ever closer to that long-awaited peace.

It’s important to view the world as naturally good. The moment we start believing otherwise is when we find ourselves being one of the ones who make it not. It’s now time for you to go and be one of the ones who makes it good.


Thanks, Ellen.