Message from the Superintendent
John M. Rodgers, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
The Season of Giving
"In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in doing good to their fellow men."
There are certainly many needs in the world and many people in the world who are in need. We may feel that we are not in a position to give monetarily to these needs or to obtain resources to help those in need; however, I am writing to remind us that we have quite a few gifts that we can give this season and throughout the entire year that do not cost money. Here are just a few gifts for us to consider:
The Gift of Forgiveness: This is not only the season for giving; it is also the season for forgiving. Grudges, hatred, and resentment in one’s heart only increase your own pain. This accumulation of painful emotions usually keeps people bound and chained to a past. We usually cannot change people who have done harm to us; therefore, forgiveness is the best gift we can give to ourselves in order to get on with life and focus on doing great things, instead of wishing misfortune, harm, or ill to another.
The Gift of Joy: I do not know of too many people who like to be around complainers. We may have problems in life but you don’t have to look too far to find people that have many more problems larger and more severe than our own. Count your blessings and start spreading good news. Spread cheer and avoid keeping company with malcontents. It's true that misery loves company, but you don't have to accept their invitation.
The Gift of Friendship: Give the greatest gift of all—yourself. By being a friend and serving others you will experience great joy and at the same time you will bring value to your own life and the lives of others.
The Gift of Comfort: Discouraging words can destroy people but encouraging words can lift people up. Give the gift of comfort by putting away anger, suspicion, and impatience, and seek rather for understanding and acceptance.
The Gift of Hope: One of the greatest gifts we can offer to another person is a second chance. If someone has gone astray, we can give them the opportunity to make up for a misdeed and recover from their mistakes. By recognizing that people make mistakes, and offering others a chance to make restitution and gain reconciliation, we can give people the courage to change. This is what loving parents do all the time to teach their children valuable principles and truths in life. There is no better way to make a better world than giving the gift of hope.
My suggested list is only a fraction of the many gifts we have in our power to give. You can decide on the most appropriate ones by asking yourself, "What is the most loving thing that I can do for the person who stands before me right now?" Our gifts do not have to be exceptional or elaborate—small ones will do. Some people just need a smile, a word of encouragement, or some validation, while others just need some company or a friend to talk to. Mother Teresa once said, "It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."
As we go through life we discover who we are and who we want to become. In time we learn that the good that we do for ourselves will only die with us but the good we do for others is the good that will live on.