Merry Christmas! The staff and I at Family Recovery Center wish you and your loved ones a very special day and Happy New Year.
Today, being Christmas Day, a number of memories flood my mind. A family get-together, that very first doll, the high school Christmas dance, my first Christmas as a bride. Every event remembered brings to mind the message each had for me and the future. All of the things my mother taught me, or at least said to me, as a young child and later as an adolescent: "Be nice."
As 2011 draws to a close, and thinking about what I would like to say, one theme keeps coming forward. What kind of messages are we sending or speaking as we live out our lives?
An example of negative messaging happens each time I am driving home from work at our administrative offices in Lisbon. I pass a home and see several signs that make my hair curl, my blood boil. Posted over the garage are several signs that are most derogatory in nature.
Then, in the front yard of this home site is a sign indicating that the youngster living there is an athlete in the local school system. Assuming from the stuff that is strewn around the yard and the signage, I wonder what kind of message is being delivered in that home, between the parents to that child, and finally, to the community at large.
As for positive messaging, I see it throughout the community, and in my neighborhood. These are the messages you send your family and your community. The following are a few of the different kinds of messages many of you put forth during the year.
I see a neighbor of mine who has weekly meetings with his Boy Scout troop. You can set your weekday and clock by this activity. It appears this is a very popular activity by the number of cars that are parked around the area.
Then there is the neighbor with several sons who consistently work side by side with their parents in maintaining a well-groomed lawn and yard. There is the neighbor who erected a building specifically for housing of sheltered animals in order to preserve their lives and gives them what appears to be a wonderful facility to live in. There are not many individuals who can say, "There is a cat house in my backyard."
Finally, on my way home, I pass another home and family that continually opens its house to friends of their children. These kids are now approaching adulthood, and this family welcomes them on a regular basis. Kudos to that family for making their home accessible, family-oriented and a gathering place for young adults. I often see the mom in the grocery store stocking up on the food these kids can put away.
To each of these families, I believe the messages are loud and clear-not only do we take care of our own, teach our own and others, but contribute to the lives, growth and development of many.
More individuals continue to contribute, in a variety of ways, improving the lives of other individuals in our community. As I had read somewhere, "It's difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven't been willing to try."
Will 2012 see you try something new by reaching out to the community? Perhaps volunteering at a church, organization or community function? Making a commitment? Making a donation?
Imagine if each one of us donated just one hour a month to one of the many fine organizations throughout our area. Imagine how you can inspire accomplishments in others by your own willingness to try, by the example you set. The total effect of each donated hour would have a most positive effect and outcome for many around us.
As 2011 moves quickly toward 2012, I have been privy to witness many positive changes in our community. So many of you have reached out to help the less fortunate around us.
The staff and I are most thankful for the support you continue to provide to our various programs. Several individuals have provided transportation, a number of you have worked with our children, and others continue to support those individuals who are working toward a life of recovery.
We appreciate all of you. You certainly have made a difference in my life, but more importantly, within the community at large. Your message empowers others to succeed. Thank you.