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By Jason A. Kofoed

I don't know about you, but I find it really easy to get discouraged at times with the various reports of selfish and evil acts that go on around us on a daily basis.  I have found that it takes a whole lot more effort on my part to overcome these feelings of discouragement and I often have to take a step back from my "usual reality" to look around me to see where I can do good in my realm of influence.  The time of year we are entering into is a perfect opportunity for each of us to develop and refine our skills in serving others.

Far too often I get too caught up in my every day activities that I fail to recognize the many opportunities that pass me by.  Even with Thanksgiving and Christmas- two holidays that are meant to help us focus solely on thankfulness, love, God and our fellow men- I tend to get sidetracked with additional time-consuming activities outside of my normal demanding routines which cause me to later regret the passed opportunities that I failed to recognize.  I have to make a conscious effort to go out of my way to seek out those who may need my help, or maybe just something as simple as a kind word.

I love this time of year and have found in years past that those seasons in which I have put forth the most effort in finding opportunities to help and serve those around me have been, by far, the most rewarding.  I love the way I feel when I know I have made a positive difference for someone regardless of how great or small the act may have been.  I also know that it is the Spirit of the Lord that makes me feel so good and it serves as a confirmation that He is pleased with my efforts.  This is what matters and this is what is going to make our world a better place.  With all that is wrong around us, there is so much more that each one of us can make right.  Do not ever underestimate the good that can come from one kind act on your part, for we never know the influence it will leave on others and how it might determine their future actions towards others.

As Thanksgiving and Christmas draw near, will you join me in performing some kind act of service for someone around you?  It doesn't matter if you know them or not, only that you act when you see there is a need.  Remember the scripture:

36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38. This is the first and great commandment.

39. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

     -Matthew 22: 36-39