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“Reflect the Summer Sun”
posted September 1, 2008
GUEST EDITORIAL – The passing of the Labor
Day holiday is a general wake-up call that summer is officially
over. I know that the calendar tells us that several weeks remain
in summer 2008. However, as far as the young world is concerned,
summer is gone and school is now the focus.
Here in South Carolina, we have been in school for nearly two weeks,
some even longer. In other areas of the country, summer vacation
doesn’t end until after the Labor Day break. At this point in
September, most college students have even started classes and nearly
every K-12 student has had to face that morning alarm and rise to meet
Although the summer vacation is over, the waning calendar days of the
summer season will produce many hidden opportunities for young
people. The next few weeks will present several occasions,
festivals, galas and gatherings for young people to celebrate other
young people. Some of these activities will be sports related,
some tied to academics and school while other festivities will be
sponsored by churches or civic organizations.
Young people I urge you to take advantage of every opportunity to
fellowship and socialize with other young people, especially when there
is an opportunity to get to know others who are very different from
you. One of the biggest “problems” young people face is the
ability to be outgoing and extraverted. It’s difficult for many
adults to voluntarily extend their hand and their voice to unfamiliar
faces. But, you will be amazed by how much you are benefited by
enlarging your social circle and decreasing your social fears. I
challenge each of you to make a new friend this week – shoot, let’s get
crazy and introduce ourselves to at least five new people this
month. Can you handle that?
It may be that person sitting next to you at Friday night’s football
game – you know that kid you vaguely recognize from 1st period or in
the halls during class changes. It may be that young person from
your Sunday School class whom you’ve never really gotten to know.
The people you meet tend to change you by making it easier for you to
remain the same. Meeting people helps you realize that though we
are all very different, we are also very similar. Our
similarities give us a sense of peace. Our uniqueness gives us
Every interaction with someone else can be considered an
exchange. Unfortunately, not every exchange is win-win.
But, we won’t focus our attention on those negative exchanges because
that type of thinking is a part of the past we are leaving
behind. Instead, we will focus our attention on the exchanges
that are mutually beneficial. At the end of the conversation,
greeting, discussion or whatever, you walk away glad you felt confident
enough to venture out and meet someone new. And, the other person
feels blessed by having been in your presence.
Exchanges don’t have to be long in order to change someone’s day or
someone’s life. Often the briefest of exchanges, “Good Morning”,
spoken with a sincere smile, is enough to positively start someone’s
day and set them on a good course. As you start this day, or
finish this day (it’s never too late to start), just remember that you
want to be the best part of someone’s day.
If you feel you’ve been blessed, be a blessing to someone else.
If you feel you’ve never been blessed, imagine your opportunity to ease
the burden and be the one who blesses someone else. Either way,
plan every day to be the positive force that turns forces positive.
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JAM Straight Customs
We still need recipes for Cooking Section
WEBNEWS – Send in your favorite or
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With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal
section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking,
grilling, sauces, and deserts! Send in your submissions here.