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Give the gift of YOU in 2011

Mary Jean Carnevale
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

As I watch the snow fall and the world turn into a beautiful blanket of white, I think, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our lives mirrored that of a snowflake?”

Each snowflake seems to gracefully fall with no worries or concerns. Each snowflake seems to embrace its uniqueness and that of those around it. Each snowflake continues on its journey not needing to know what its final impact might be.

As it settles, the snowflake becomes the gift as well as the giver. With so little effort, a snowflake provides a building block for others to make snowmen, ski runs, snow forts, snowballs and snow sculptures. And when snowflakes join in force, they can bring cities to a halt and very quickly change the direction of thousands of lives in a single moment.



So why do we simply marvel at snowflakes instead of taking on their example and finding ways we can be the same type of driving force in others’ lives?

Throughout the year I encourage you to take on the traits of a snowflake. Look around and see where you can become the gift as well as the giver. How can you, with very little effort, bring joy to someone’s life? How can you become the example you want your children to follow and your family to be proud of? How can you be the support that helps brighten someone’s future? How can you help change the direction of the nation?



Try this: Offer to fill in for your co-worker when they have something special they want to do. Don’t just talk about doing something, do it. Give a stranger a smile. Buy coffee for the person behind you in the Starbuck’s line. Provide a listening ear to the store clerk. Pass on giving that negative comment to your spouse or child. Pay your parking ticket without complaining to the court clerk. Get to know your teenager’s girlfriend or boyfriend by spending time talking to them. Take someone’s recycling to the recycling center for them.

Simple acts of kindness and compassion can fall as effortlessly as snowflakes with just as much impact. A few years back a young lady came to YouthZone seeking help to deal with issues of abuse in her life. Upon completion of her time at YouthZone she wrote the following poem as a thank you to the counselor that provided support and guidance to her. This young lady is now an architectural engineer and helping to start a nonprofit for medical needs in underserved populations.

“This poem is for you whose courage and strength is a model for me to mold to. Whose guidance and understanding helps me see things through. Whose friendship and caring I hold to be true. These traits to me were once new. But now these things that I see in you can be found in me.”

In 2011 …. May YOU be the Gift.

– Mary Jean Carnevale is YouthZone’s Special Events Coordinator


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