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On the Coast Magazine

Publishers Page Nov/Dec 2015

11/04/2015 08:46PM ● Published by Nancy Babin

To most of us with college- and school-age children, the end of the year in our minds is usually May or June. In reality, this is the end of the year – November and December. This is a special time for holiday fun, family time, memory making and yearly reflections.

At the beginning of the year we all make goals and/or set a New Year’s Resolution or two, but how many of us stop in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the end of the year holiday season to honestly reflect on them? On ourselves? On our family? Did we reach our goals? Did we stick to our resolutions? Did we make any positive long-lasting changes or did we fall back into the same ol’ same ol’ rut? If I am to be completely transparent, I know that I fell short in many areas and sadly, at some point in the year, life became too busy, and those same ol’ ruts took over. 

Since life is not slowing down, it is time for us to take control! As I race from place to place and try to fulfill this commitment and that, lately I’ve asked myself these things… Will finishing first in a debate competition have a greater impact on my child in later years, or will showing kindness? Will stacking the shelves with just one more basketball medal or trophy be what takes my son further down this path called life, or will compassion? Am I teaching my children how to win or how to succeed? Do they understand key concepts like empathy and mercy? Do they understand that coming in first does not necessarily make you best? If not, how can I help instill those values in them? What is key to developing their character? Flip ahead a few pages and read some of the tips and suggestions we have mapped out in this very edition you hold in your hands!

As I challenge myself to step back, slow down and focus on the moral and character development of the children within my family and sphere of influence, I want to challenge you too, Dear Readers, to do the same! And what better time to do it? Organize a coat drive. Collect gloves and blankets; maybe put together toiletry bags for the homeless. Gather some friends and go clean up an elderly neighbor’s yard. Sponsor an angel or two from the Angel Tree for children in need. Organize a team for the 5th annual Luminaria Run benefitting Shelter House, “shedding a light on domestic violence” on December 5th. Set the example. Make time to develop character in your children while there is still time.

Well-renowned and beloved evangelist Billy Graham teaches, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” I’m guilty of trying to give my children things over teaching them character. It’s easier. It’s faster. I see instant gratification in their excitement and joy over those shiny new things. 

But I want to leave my children a legacy – not just a bunch of stuff. I want to see them develop character and show kindness, not just show off the latest clothing trends or electronics. We all want to give our children the best, but what if we focused more on developing the best within them instead? It may not be easy, especially during this busy, demanding time of the year, but I believe in you. Let’s finish 2015 better than ever. Let’s make these days On The Coast and everywhere shine from the love within, not just the holiday lights around town. We can all use some more love. Let America’s favorite author remind you in his infamous words, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” –Dr. Suess

Happy Holidays, my Loves.

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