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The Gift of ...

Karie Fay
Commentary Editor  

   With Christmas time around the corner, it’s a frantic time for many.  Especially for us here at UAM, when December also spells E-X-A-M-S.

   In this issue of The Voice, I write about how to prepare to do well on your exams, how to handle expectations this season, and also provide tips on dealing with the stress.  But here, I want to take it a little further.

   I want to make you think.

   Of course, all my commentaries are designed to do that.  I hope I have made that obvious.  I want to persuade, inform and challenge you – all of you – to think, to do, to participate, to BE.

   But this time, I want you to think about something even more important - yourself.  About who you are inside.  About what things mean to you.  About what you can do.  And even deeper ...

   Tragically, we experienced a suicide on this campus a few years ago.  The details are not important – those who remember know.  But what matters is this: the student, a female, found no hope.

   It was the Christmas season, exam time, and things were troubled in her life.  I understood the fears she must have felt, hearing the causes of her troubles.  I understand, because I have been through so much myself.

   I understand she was fearful.  FEAR - Future Events Appearing Real.

   What was not so easy to understand was her giving up.

   To take a side step here, think for a second what Christmas means.  It symbolizes hope, in the birth of an infant child who meant so much to the world.

   It symbolizes love, in that this birth fulfilled a hope, and offers a promise.  If only you believe.

   But too often these days, the world gets caught up in the commerciality of Christmas.  They rush to Black Friday, they log on for Cyber Monday.  They overcharge their credit.  They become so consumed with self, they do not think of others.  Of the meaning.  Of the reason.  Of what it all means ...

   Not the giving of gifts to others.  The giving of self to others.  The gifts of love we can all give.

   Many people are destitute financially, especially in these troubled economic times.  Others are alone, with no where to gather with loved ones they do not have.  Many, simply, struggle with hope.

   One student at UAM did.  Now, she has no more hope.  No more promise.  No more love.

   I wish to offer a challenge to you.  Go out, and touch someone’s life.  Give this Christmas.  Give of yourself.  Give a toy to a needy child.  Invite someone to share what you have so much of.  Visit a nursing home and just tell everyone there Merry Christmas, and take a second to listen when they talk.  Just give something  to someone who needs you.

   And make a difference.

   Have a comment? Please e-mail us.

ŠThe Voice 2007
01/13/2008 03:24:15 PM —