Minnesota’s “miracle of seasons” offers residents and visitors a plethora of experiences at any given moment.
There are always things to do, new places to visit or favorite spots to re-visit.
In-doors or out-doors, Minnesota is a state that millions of people just can’t get enough of and return year after year, season after season.
I am allowed to brag about Minnesota like this…not just because I work with media representatives who do stories about Minnesota…but, because I am a 40-year “transplant” to the land of 10-thousand lakes.
Each year I speak to media, groups, schools and organizations throughout the midwest about various destinations, attractions and activities in Minnesota. Without exception, one or more in attendance will comment after my presentation about my enthusiasm for this remarkable state.
The enthusiasm is real.
Having had the opportunity to travel edge-to-edge in Minnesota during the past ten years has fueled that enthusiasm even more.
That said, I would like to focus on something that also stirs personal passion during this holiday season. It has nothing to do with a unique place to visit or an attraction to experience. This something carries with it its’ own uniqueness and special experience through the act of doing.
Minnesota residents and its’ many visitors have a lot to be thankful for in just the natural beauty and wonders of the state.
So while we ponder and prepare for trips to family and friends across Minnesota and elsewhere during this holiday season, let’s not forget those for whom the holidays may be just another day on the calendar, another day to survive, another night without a warm place to sleep, another day without friends and family near.
It is difficult for many to believe that in this land of abundance there are still people suffering the pains of hunger or people freezing for lack of a roof or people lonely because they have not or cannot be together with family or friends.
This wonderful country has found answers for many crises, has worked to right many wrongs and has provided freedom for its people far and beyond similar accomplishments in any other country on earth.
However, the answer to hunger, homelessness and loneliness for many still eludes us.
I have found Midwesterners…to be generous and caring people.
If you can, during this long holiday season, try to find a way to take an extra step by donating to a food pantry…helping out a homeless shelter…visiting someone who you know will be alone at this time.
As much as you will help others you will help yourself beyond your greatest expectations, in the knowledge that you made a positive difference in someone’s life…if even for a moment.
It’s kind of a “pay it forward” attitude.
And, should you see someone…any time of year… that can’t seem to afford a smile, give ‘em one of yours!