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The Twelve(ish) Guilty Pleasures of Christmas

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I know. I’m not going to end up anywhere near 12. Just accept it and get over it.

Today’s guilty pleasure is a little odd, but it’s also a broad collection of things. It’s the feel good, or sad, make-you-cry story or video on the internet.

You know the ones: videos of soldiers coming home from a war zone for the first time in years to be greeted by their kids or dog or wife…They’ve arranged some surprise so they’re home earlier than expected, and show up at their kid’s school. Or at their wife’s work. Or just walk in the door at home to find the dog jumping up and down for them because that’s just how much they’ve been missed.

Or it’s the news stories about people doing great things for others. Or making huge sacrifices–including dying–to become some positive force for their family, community, or the world. Stories about people who, through some horrible tragedy, have made the world take notice and are driving a person or a group of people to make their little corner of the globe a better place to live.

These are things that, in the midst of the angst, anger, conflict, madness, and pain in the world bring some brightness in the darkness. These are stories that shine directly into your soul and make you realize that while you sometimes have to go looking for it, there is real, wonderful, all-consuming good in the world.

Men aren’t supposed to cry. We aren’t supposed to be emotional–at least in a sad way. Or so says the rest of society out there that for some reason has decided that being compassionate is a sign of weakness. But invariably, I’ll have to wipe a tear from my eye with some of these stories. I have to wipe more away from others.

And that’s a good thing.

What’s better is that I know I’m not alone in liking these stories. One site I follow regularly, Fark, posts funny headlines and links to real news stories found across the internet. And for those stories that are tear-jerkers, they’ll make some crack about dust in their eyes. Maybe it’s to let us know it’s as OK to cry at it as it is to just read it.

The world can be a harsh, horrible place. It’s nice to know there are still those quiet, loving, soft corners that everyone needs sometimes.

See you tomorrow.