I am a multi-faceted person, full of ideas, concepts, opinions, and doubts. I want solutions for my problems, and answers to my questions. Writing has been a way to express those questions, and opinions. I have been absolutely blessed to share my musings with our readers over the past few months.
Since August, Iíve written some things that have been hard to say, but I donít regret any part of it. Exploring and understanding my own stances and issues has been an adventure. Likewise, Iím learning to listen to and respect those opinions that might be different from my own. This ongoing lesson in my own writing is one I doubt Iíll ever finish.
I hope Iíve inspired hope in some of you; it doesnít matter how old you are, your race, religion, gender, or orientation. I am a Citizen of this community, country, and world. The Gering Citizen has given me a chance to take an active role in affecting those spheres as a teen. In doing so, I hope I have made the world a better place.
As I get older, Iíll vote in elections, continue to learn and perform, speak my mind, and, as I do, Iíll do my best to show kindness. Iíll help people if Iím able, and remember the ones I cannot. Iíll make mistakes and keep learning from them.
Most of all, Iíll try to save the world in my own way. I donít believe the world will ever be perfect. Iíve seen suffering people, enough to know that there is no way to help everyone at once. However, I do keep hope that my generation, and generations to come, can learn to express love, tolerance, and hope. I hope we can continue to create and express new ideas. If we can do this, we can effectively combat hate, despair, conflict, need, and so much more.
Despite all of the pain people face, the world is a wonderful place. I have worked hard to become an optimist, looking for the good in the world. Iíve seen kind people supporting each other, feeding the hungry, donating time and resources to charities, taking care of their parents and children, forgiving people that have hurt them, and so many more day-to-day miracles. Life is far from easy, but it is beautiful. The world is full of good books, music, sunrises, stargazing, theatre, flowers, love, and so much more.
The Christmas season is always one of my favorites. I love the decorations, the music, seeing family, getting out of school, and catching snowflakes on my tongue. Christmas is a time when we can all count our blessings, making us keenly aware of people in need.
While I like to build snow men and throw snow balls, it all must end when it turns to slush. However, for people who canít afford to heat their homes or Nebraskaís 20,000 homeless people, according to openmission.org, cold weather can be a threat. There are homeless shelters, yes, but not enough to keep all of them from the harsh winter elements, according to opb.org.
For other people, the holidays may be lonely. Iíve seen this in some college friends that are struggling to be away from home during the holidays. For the first time, they are on their own, with no traditions or a support network Ė family, friends, clubs. Freshmen especially can be overwhelmed with loneliness. College students are not alone in this. Many people feel isolated during the holidays. There are elderly, who may have recently suffered a loss. There are those who suffer illness. This time of year is a reminder of bygone celebrations, in which we can easily lose sight of past traditions. These kinds of memories can cause real pain.
Through good fortune, Christmas is also a time when communities join together. Parades, concerts, and festivities are hosted, allowing people to meet and interact. Soup kitchens, gift drives, and charities work to make life easier for people who have very little during the difficult winter months. People work for good are all over; carolers at nursing homes, Salvation Army bell ringers, volunteers at soup kitchens and there are so many other good souls.
It is my hope that in reading my column over the past few months, my words have enabled you to see wonder in the world. Hopefully, you have seen some of the ways we can make the world better, in this season and every other.
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