by Dr. LaChawn Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Academic Accountability
What do you think of most when you think of this time of year? Family gatherings, hanging decorations, shopping for the perfect gift or maybe you simply think of those who make a difference in the lives of others. Recently, I have read quite a bit about the selfless acts and generosity of some very special young people. For example, Ariana Smith is a three-year-old who donated her hair after seeing another little girl who had lost her hair to cancer treatment. Jamison Bethea, a ten-year-old boy, collected more than 1500 cans of food on his birthday in memory of his grandmother and because of the homeless people he had seen. Then there is Gunner Robinson, an eight-year-old boy from Wilmington. Gunner collected 300 pairs of shoes for students in need. “I get new shoes every year for school and I want other kids to get new shoes too,” he said.
Every day, teachers give tirelessly to their students as they do amazing things to motivate and inspire them. Co-workers invest in each other, work collaboratively and give the gifts of time, friendship and support.
These stories are encouraging and heartwarming, especially during this time of year. For most of us, the holidays are filled with joy, happiness and celebration. However, some families face sadness and despair. Circumstances can make it difficult to focus on the beauty of the season. Some have loved ones deployed, some have experienced loss and others may be dealing with the added financial stress of the season.
So as you journey through this holiday season (sleigh optional), I encourage you to reflect on your own selfless acts – the kindness and gifts that you share each day with others around you. I am reminded of this quote from Norman Brooks,
“Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to be put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself.”