The Midwests Â â€œmiracle of seasonsâ€ offersÂ usÂ a wonderlandÂ ofÂ 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 millions of people just canâ€™t get enough of our MidwestÂ land of prairies and forests…woods and waters…and return year after year, season after season.
Each year…because of my work in media relations,Â I’m privileged to speakÂ with many individual media, community groups and organizations throughout the country about destinations and experiences in our precious corner of the world. Without exception, one or more in attendance will comment after my presentation about my enthusiasm for this remarkableÂ area and its’ fascinating people. Well good people, the enthusiasm is real. Having had the opportunity to travelÂ the north countryÂ for several years has fueled that enthusiasm even more.
That said, I would like to focus on something that also stirs personal passion during the holiday season. It has nothing to do with a unique place to visit or an attraction to experience. This something carries with it itsâ€™ own uniqueness and special experience created through the act of doing.
Â While we ponder and prepare for upcoming visits to or from family and friends, letâ€™s try not to 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 or another day without friends or family near.
It is difficult for many of us 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 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 attempts in any other country on earth.
However, the answer to hunger, homelessness and loneliness for many…still eludes.
I have found Midwesterners in generalâ€¦to be generous and caring people.
If you can…sometime during this long holiday season…see if you can find a way to take an extra step by donating to a food pantryâ€¦helping out a homeless shelterâ€¦or possibly 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 heart felt knowledge that you made a positive difference in someoneâ€™s lifeâ€¦if even for a moment.
Itâ€™s kind of a â€œpay it forwardâ€ attitude.
And, should you see someone that canâ€™t seem to afford a smile, open your “vault of smiles” and give â€˜em one of yours! I believe it’s one of the best investments you will ever make in fellow man.
I’m smiling as I wish you…Happy Holidays!