Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spreading Light On the Lives of Our Youth!

At this critical time in our lives, we have a responsibility to share our talents and abilities. We are called to action, encouraged to educate ourselves, and to serve our families and those in our communities. We are told in many ways “Making a Positive Difference Begins with You and Me.” The signs say “Don’t Retire!” I say, "It's time to Inspire and Nothing Inspires more than Action!"

We all possess talents and have abilities that we can use to benefit ourselves and others. Edith Wharton reminds us "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." As I look back upon my life, I realize that I have often been the mirror, standing still, very content to reflect the light of others.

I have spent the majority of my life appreciating the many accomplishments and good works of those around me. I was often meek, had a hard time sharing my own ideas and finding my own voice. As I near retirement from government service, I see my own children becoming adults, and I realize that I must voice my concerns and take action if I expect change.

I often reflect on the state of our economy, the state of our families, and the well being of our youth. My heart tells me that while I can retire from my government position, there is still much work to be done, and I must become a candle myself.

As the New Year dawns, I realize I have much to offer, much to learn, and much to contribute. I am committed to spreading light on the path, to learning along the way and to giving voice to the unspoken dreams of our youth with special challenges. I intend to share life lessons, to encourage them to recognize their strengths and talents, and to help them in envisioning a brighter tomorrow where their gifts will be acknowledged and appreciated.

I realize that I cannot do this alone. I must join with others who are committed to make a positive difference in the lives of those who are most challenged. We will need an Army of Committed Citizens who are willing to mentor our youth with disabilities and who are willing to help them in finding their passions, in finding meaningful employment and in becoming contributing members of our society.

Together, we can walk the path, support and mentor our youth as they transition from school - to work – to independence and to community-building.

How will you make a positive difference? Will you be the candle or the mirror or will you be both at different times? Will you be the spark that spreads the light? Or will you step back and realize that there are many candles lit around you and your job is to become the mirror? Either way you are making a difference and you are spreading light. I applaud you and your efforts.

I look forward to connecting with you and to spreading light!

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