Do a kindness today.

We need to exist. We need to have this one stretch of our lives where whatever we did has its importance. That our very being upon this earth made a difference.

Did you help someone today? Did you do a random act of kindness – anything from holding a door open for the person behind you, or donating to a charity, or just offering assistance to someone in trauma?

Did you make the world a brighter place?

Did you do something? Anything?

Do something today. Please. Drop a $5 in the little blue box at the cash register. Pick up an extra bag of dog food and bring it to the animal shelter. Do a kindness today.

Today of all days, do a kindness.

This is February 20th . Or as I call it, Allen’s Day.

On February 20, 1970, my brother Allen – three years old at the time – was gravely injured in a car accident. Six months later, he was finally called to Glory.

I was six years old at the time. And over the years, I’ve blogged about the emotional trauma I went through from that moment forward – the initial break with my family that developed into a permanent schism – and how, in 2010, I raised enough funds to purchase the small marker for his grave at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands that no one had previously bothered to purchase.

And in the end … I came up with a personal holiday. Allen’s Day. A day not to remember the tragedy, but instead to make someone’s life better.

It can be as simple as sending some money to a charity – if you’re interested in doing so, I’d recommend Feeding America or LaunchGood or your local food bank or assistance program.

It can be as simple as digging your neighbor’s car out of the snowbank before she wakes up for work. Just remember to also clean off the windshield, the side windows, the back windows and the roof for that extra touch.

It can be as simple as making amends for a failure on your own part. A card, a call, something to say, “I’m sorry about what happened in the past, you don’t have to forgive me for it, but if you do, let’s talk about healing.”

Trust me. We’re not perfect creatures. We fuck up more often than not.

But in those moments, we have to realize there are times when we can repair what happened. Make things better. Repair – rather than despair.

For me … I also take Allen’s Day as a day of reflection and personal commitment. Because I was at school that day, I wasn’t in the car that crashed. I was spared. But that doesn’t mean I was absolved. It did mean that I’ve dealt with 53 years of survivor’s guilt.

Thus begins at least one day a year to memorialize someone who didn’t get a chance to experience everything life can offer.

So a blessed Allen’s Day to you, and whatever you do to celebrate it, I hope that your charitable or benevolent moment brings you joy and peace.

That’s the best way to make this day.