There IS good in this world.

I’m a crusader — a do-gooder. I volunteer time to way more organizations than I should, get much less sleep than I need, and burn my proverbial candle at both ends because I am drawn to do good. I’m a bleeding heart, and a sensitive soul. So when I hear heart-breaking news of today’s horrible tragedy in Connecticut, I feel driven to DO something. Now, from an office in Kansas City, there isn’t much I can do…except, write.

Despite a tendency to have an outlook that can change faster than the weather in Chicago (that’s pretty fast, folks), I am an optimist. Just as I like to DO good, I also strive to always SEE good. There’s no way to explain away the sadness or find the silver lining in the Connecticut shooting. Lives were ended, and lives were changed forever. But, I’ve seen the good in people.

Do not let the horrible actions of one deranged individual (or even one deranged group) ruin your outlook on mankind. Ever.

Because, there is always something beautiful to be found in the lives around us. A newborn baby, a random act of kindness, a deed of goodwill.

My nieces and nephews. When I see them smile, it's hard not to find good in the world.

My nieces and nephews. When I see them smile, it’s hard not to find good in the world.

I can see the examples all around me. Last year, an anonymous donor stepped forward and helped me raise over a grand for the fight against cancer. Currently, I’m working with a group of women who call themselves the Banditas, to help a friend who has been feeling horribly discouraged. I recently read a beautifully-optimistic blog post by a friend who is currently fighting cancer. I experienced a flood of love and support, both publicly and privately, from friends and family after sharing some words about my battle with eating disorders. And this is just a short list of instances, off the top of my head.

Don’t let life’s bad ruin the good for you. Ever.

This holiday season, please promise me to find the good in the world around you. Please take a moment to revel in gratitude at the beauty in life. Cherish the family and friends who grace your celebrations. Give them an extra hug, or raise an extra toast. Why? Because, you won’t let the heartbreak we run into in this world defeat us.

Regardless of your faith, your outlook on the holidays, or the horrible news you read on the Internet or in the paper, don’t give up hope on people. Ever.

I’m not sure I’ll have time to post again before I virtually fall off the grid while visiting my family in rural Illinois. But, in case of that happening, I’d like to say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Boxing Day, Happy Winter Solstice, and a VERY happy New Year to each and every one of you. (If I missed a holiday, I apologize. Whatever you celebrate during December, I hope it is full of blessings, happiness, and light.)

Do something nice for someone, and may the new year dawn on you full of promise, opportunity, and joy.


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