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Lent - an opportunity to make a difference

For forty days, not counting Sundays, Christians of various denominations observe this time to prepare for the Easter feast. This often results in personal sacrifice to acknowledge the cost of salvation that Christians believe was made by Jesus Christ.

Lent is the perfect time for self-reflection – something all of us should do periodically. While one person may give up chocolate or eating meat during this time, others may see this as an opportunity to make permanent improvements in their lives. In both cases, a certain sacrifice is required.

So, even if you didn’t begin a change with Ash Wednesday observance, or not of a faith that honors this time, it is never too late to renew and make new, especially when it involves making this world a little better for your fellowman.
A few suggestions for doing so:

Give up:

  • Give up intolerance and hatred
  • Give up arguing
  • Give up an indulgence
  • Give up buying what you don’t need

Change challenges

  • Take 10 seconds to think before you respond to negatives (is it really necessary to argue or rebut?)
  • Be a little more patient
  • Try to really listen and understand before making judgments
  • Try to judge a little less
  • When treating yourself to an indulgence (a latte, nice meal or food item, special article of clothing, etc.) put aside 10% of the cost toward something for someone else
  • Find a positive to say to someone each day
  • Be a peace keeper (in conversations, between others, your own relationships)
  • Make an effort to be friendly to a stranger (a store clerk, someone standing in line with you at the movies, waiting at the bus stop, etc.)
  • At least weekly, make contact with someone (with whom you’ve been out of touch) via a handwritten thinking of you note to be mailed.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure that your actions are ones to make a positive difference in the world for both you and your fellowman.