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Appreciate the Good; Reach Out to Others

posted Dec 14, 2018, 1:58 PM by Brenda Williams
As we begin the annual tradition of gathering with coworkers, family, and friends to celebrate the holidays, I challenge you to appreciate the good. This time of year is a great time to relax, reenergize and refocus as we spend some time away from work or just the routine of everyday life. We are afforded opportunities to connect with people that we may not have seen in a while or visit Grandma’s house for the only time during the year. The times are filled with great memories, stories, meals and just genuine fellowship. In today’s world, the headlines are always filled with negative or tragic news. It could be crime-related, natural disaster-related or negative political stories. I challenge you to spend this time of year appreciating the good in your life.

There are parts of the United States that have been recently devastated by natural disasters. I’m sure there are many folks in places like North Carolina and California whose holidays will be nothing like they typically are. They will be forced to change their traditions and routines as the house they normally celebrate in is no longer there. They may be forced to celebrate without loved ones they’ve lost in these disasters. It is safe to say that for many, their lives are forever changed.

As we celebrate this time of year, my second challenge for you is to reach out to others in need. Many of us are blessed to lead a life that includes many good things, but we may have friends, neighbors, and or know of families who are dealing with struggle. The holidays are usually the worst time of year for those struggles. If you know of folks who are struggling with physical or mental illness, loss of a loved one, financial hardship or just struggling with the stresses of everyday life, I challenge you to reach out to them. It can be as simple as making a point to chat with them briefly at church or in the store. It could mean going out of your way to provide a meal, send a card or just lending them your ear. A great community takes care of its own and while it is never intentional when we don’t, the hustle and bustle of life sometimes gets in the way of us doing just that.

As you celebrate this holiday season, take time to appreciate all the good in your life. If we don’t reflect on all the good, we will never fully appreciate how fortunate we are. Along with this, take note of the folks in your life who need a hand. I know for many this time of year, there are countless gifts under the tree. I would challenge you to find a gift under that tree that is a greater gift than doing what you can to help those in need.

-- Rich Spiczka, Community Education Director