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As The Seasons Change

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As The Seasons Change

As The Seasons Change

by Neil Murphy

   As the seasons change my heart and mind turn to the holidays and thoughts of days past. My memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas always bring mixed emotions of happiness and sadness. These days most of my family has gone on and our celebrations are small and subdued, but the memories they left behind are fresh and real. I wonder how many others are in similar circumstances and what we can do to make things better. I believe that we can remember those gone ahead of us and celebrate the holidays joyfully mentioning them often. This effort is good for us and helps to create memories and traditions for the youngsters to learn.

   One of my happiest childhood memories is fireworks!!! We always made a big thing of gathering supplies and attempting to create the largest explosions possible. My brother, cousins, friends and I carried on with great enthusiasm to achieve earth shattering displays. These days I still carry on this tradition alone with the same joyful determination. In part I do it to honor those who are no longer here to witness it. I don’t care what others think about my actions and in my heart I believe those gone know what I am doing and are smiling.

   The joy in the faces of little ones is still real and so refreshing to me. The happiness I see when I talk to little children about Thanksgiving and Christmas is evident and infectious. What we leave behind is critical for the future and takes little effort on our part. A smile, a comment or a kind word to a stranger has untold effect. We really never know what impact a small gesture of kindness has for someone. And we don’t even need to know, we just need to do it. Look someone directly in the eye, smile and say something kind. Kindness does not cost anything and most certainly does no harm. There is even medical evidence that kindness and a peaceful spirit is physically good for you!

   Find someone in your life to help over the holidays. I am sure we all know someone, a family or individual, who is struggling in this economy, is alone, or who might not have much of a holiday planned. There is no need for recognition; you can do things anonymously which in my experience is even more rewarding. In the case of someone living alone, invite them to be part of your holiday celebration. In the case of a family struggling, buy them what they need for a special meal. Toys for children don’t cost much but can have a tremendous effect in one little life. Small acts of kindness, as taught by Christ, have untold rewards. Yes it is a fact that you cannot change the world but you CAN change the world around you!

   Sometimes I think we all wait for someone else to “do something” when what we need to do is to be that someone. I don’t need an organized group or government program to make an impact, I just need to act.  Our country was founded by brave people who were willing to step out, act on their own and take chances. Sometimes they failed but at least they were willing to act! Now it is time for us to take that example and do our part.

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submitted by cs murphy

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