Make a difference


October is usually one of the most pleasant months. Hot weather is over and often, a nip of cool is in the air. Students are settled back in school. Leaves begin to show tinges of color. There are many good times to anticipate—football, fairs, festivals, Halloween and you name your own. This year will be different. Some events will continue but at a safe distance. From mid-March to mid-October is a long period to stand six feet apart. For me, the months have seemed to flash by in a haze, but the days move by a snail’s pace.

Do you sometimes feel like the world is spinning out of control? Of course, we know the world is still rotating on its axis, just like it does on the classroom globe. Day after day, the news is filled with crisis after crisis. The best that we can do is recognize when we can work to make a difference and when to accept what is out of our control.

A bag of food donated to a food bank will not eliminate world hunger, but it sure will eliminate the hunger of the family who receives your bag of groceries. Wearing a mask will not wipe out the coronavirus, but it sure can help to prevent spreading of it. Calling to check on someone who is homebound will not take away their loneliness, but it sure will brighten the receiver of the call. Tackling chores you have long intended to do but just never got around to  doing will not keep you from missing other pleasures, but it sure will occupy  your time and give you a feeling of usefulness.

Perhaps it is time for this prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Shirley can be reached at


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