Friday, 19 April 2002

April 19, 2002 Chautauqua



From the Editor's Computer

   Next week (April 21 - 27) marks Volunteer Week.  A week in which we remember to thank all the unsung heroes who make our world go round.

   It takes a special breed of person to volunteer.  A person who gives selflessly to others with no expectation of having their efforts even acknowledged.  A person who thinks the needs of others are more important than their own.  A person who sees a need to be filled, or a job to be done, and lends not only their hands, but their heart as well.  A person who all too often is overlooked or ignored when the accolades and credit for a job well done are passed around.

   Volunteers are the backbone of any community.  Without the dedication of volunteers, there would be no hockey, community groups, community functions, or even school extra-curricular activities.  Generally, it is the volunteers working very diligently behind the scenes that ensure the success of any organization or function.

   Volunteering gives a person a chance to return something to society by contributing to the world around you and making a positive difference in the lives of others.  Volunteering makes you feel good, and according to various studies, actually promotes longevity.  Just consider the number of  senior citizens who volunteer for endless hours!  Volunteering provides an enormous amount of personal satisfaction.  Knowing that you have helped out someone in need, or contributed to a worthy cause, is a great reward for all the long hours and back-breaking work. 

   To ALL THE VOLUNTEERS out there, I would like to say THANK YOU!  In particular, I would like to thank the members of the Alix Public Library Board and the volunteers who me help in the library - Carol Lukyn, Genevieve Marshall, Franshesca Bryant and Jodie Waddy.  I could not do my job without your assistance.  I would also like to specially thank Genevieve Marshall who helps me deliver the paper in Alix.

    I would like to leave you with this thought:  “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”  – Morrie Schwartz

Beth

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Friday, 5 April 2002

April 5, 2002 Chautauqua



From the Editor's Computer

Goals and dreams...we all need them, and many of us dread defining them. 

   The goal-making gurus tell us that making goals is vital, but more important, it is necessary to write these goals down to give them concrete form, thus giving your mind something to focus on.  These goals can (and should) include everything from the ultimate direction of your life, to what you hope to accomplish on any given day, to a simple grocery  or to-do list.  Once your goals are written down, there are umpteen methods of organizing and accomplishing them, and, if you are really interested in this process, there are umpteen books available to help you complete each step in the process.

   As I am not one to follow the crowd or the latest experts, I do not have a written list of major, or even for that matter minor, life goals.  I am incapable of even functioning with a written to-do list!  But, that does not mean that I do not have well-defined, definite goals for my life.  I do.  The list is just stored in my brain rather than on paper or computer. 

   Though they were not written down, I have managed to accomplish some of my major life goals, and am in the process of working on others.  Some have been short-term and easy, others more long-term and challenging. 

   Two weeks ago I discovered that, due to circumstances beyond my control, I might have to put one of my major life goals on hold or, worst case scenario, quit totally.  As this goal has been part of my life forever and because I am not a quitter (I possess a very stubborn nature) the thought of giving up was something I did not want to face. 

   I was forced to analyze how important this goal really was to me.  What would happen if I did not accomplish this goal?  Because of the circumstances, no one would think any less of me, and my family and friends would not shun me.  Also, it would not change who I am inside.  I know I could have done it, thus I do not need this goal to prove to myself (or  even other people) what I am capable of achieving.  It would not really change my perspective of how I view life.

     So, if goal is not going to have a profound impact on my life, why is this goal so important to me?  After some reflection, I decided that I still wanted to go ahead, even though the pathway is going to be much rockier and more challenging than first anticipated.  
Accomplishing this goal will give me a sense of conquering the unconquerable and beating the odds, and, yes, it will be a growth experience for me.  Is that not why any of us try to accomplish difficult tasks?

   What goals or dreams do you have (written or unwritten) that you have had to reassess lately?  If it is important enough to make as a personal goal, and it feels right, it is important enough to strive for, regardless of the roadblocks and detours you may encounter.  I’m not giving up on my dream yet.  I encourage you not to give up on your dreams either.

Beth

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