A Very Special Gift

By: Arleen M. Kaptur



The month of October is a step closer to the year's feast of Holidays. There are so many things to do and places to go. There are gifts to buy for family and friends and...
A gift for yourself is sometimes an extravagance that many of us do not allow ourselves. We feel that it is not a necessity, that it has a selfish motive tied around the package, and that we should not be spending our time and money on ourselves but on everyone else.
There are those that feel thatindulging themselves in luxury and niceties is just fine and as that one hair-color commercial so aptly puts it "because I'm worth it."
A gift to yourself during the upcoming Holiday Season is a really wonderful thing to do. It is a gift that does
not have to cost any money whatsoever, but it will be a treasure that will outlive many storebought items.
It comes in your color choice, and engraving is free.
In fact, it is a necessity!
The gift I am speaking about is the knowledge to know the world and its many facets and to treat each and
every single day as a "Present." It is not the past, it is not the future, it is the "present," and what a present it truly can be.
Now before your mind says, "Oh, this is one of those pat yourself on the back, everything will be fine," type of
gift, forget it! No, not everything will be fine every single day, every single moment, but it will be whatever you make it or however you use it.
Learning about the world can take you to realms of knowledge you never thought possible. The environment is a part of my life, your life, and every other living, breathing life form. We are all in this together - we have
to "share," and we are forever stewards of the earth, whether we like it or not.

The air you breathe, the food you eat, and the water you drink are all part of it. Read, listen, and be a part of major decisions that involve the
substances that become a part of your body, affect your health, and influence your space in the world. From chemical pesticides to pollution, from biological warfare
to fertilizing plants, and from factory profits to the quality of the air your lungs breathe, learn as much as you can so you can make knowledgeable, factual, and responsible decisions.
Learn about nature and the wildlife it supports. There is true "treasure" in discovering the many facets of the
animals, marine life, insect world, plant life, and even the bacterial world that shares the world with us,
can help or harm us, and that we have a responsibility to help or eradicate.There is no ceiling to learning and adventure is the very spice of life. Taking the time to
learn, to investigate, and to discover and experiment with ideas, issues, and reasons will give our minds the
exercise it needs to grow, to function at peak performance, and to expand and enrich us as individuals.

Daily life is just that. In essence, it is the upward struggle to achieve and accomplish, to move forward and to
retrace our steps when we fall back. It is to educate ourselves as to skills and abilities, to learn from others,
to teach those around us, and to celebrate our talents, and abilities, and to further learn from our mistakes and failures. It is "never giving ourselves the luxury of giving
up" and it is "taking the heat" from others and being able to build a grand fire with it. We can point out the
path that leads upward to those who are confused, and we can tap those who have chosen the incorrect road and do what we can to show them where the
"right way" is. It is taking the young and reaching into our "resource" cabinet and use tools and ways to
instruct, enlighten and challenge. It is also taking the elderly and opening our ears to listen to their wisdom
and their experiences. It is like having your own personal guide to history but with the wonderful
ability to touch the hand and look into the eyes of someone who has "been there and done that."

Your family, your friends, your neighbors and every single being you encounter in your daily life has something to offer, or to take away. Graciously accept what they offer, utilize it if possible, or store it for future use, and thank them by reciprocating the favor or just smiling and bringing a new light to their day. It is also being able to graciously give, to walk away from, and to cherish the memories.
Each person, each life form, and each and every single day is not just another reminder on a calendar, it is a
gift wrapped in papers of opportunity, challenge, insight, foresight, and other things. The ribbon is the bright
horizons of possibility as well as the "ties that bind" to our past, our ancestry, and our origins. The "tag" has our name on it, and it is our gift -from a world that would not be the same if we were not a part of it and most certainly each and every one of us has made it a better, brighter, and richer world to live in because of who we are and what we have done and can do.
We may not feel we have made an impact on the world, but you never know when someone is listening to our words, taking note of our actionsArticle Submission, and basking in the warmth of our smiles and our kindness.
ENJOY!
?Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 October

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