Making a Difference

It’s time to head back to school. But this issue of EC Magazine makes it abundantly clear that we don’t need the formality of a classroom or textbooks to learn the life lesson of giving to others. Throughout the region, there are stellar examples all around us.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance featured in our Eudaimonia column is a volunteer-based organization that relies on help from locals like us to keep their mission going. Its website lists all kinds of projects in need of helpful hands. This is outdoor fun disguised as work — it’s a day on the bay, for goodness sake!

The Emerald Coast art scene is flourishing. Our Culture story is brimming with a long list of offbeat places where you can enjoy the creative talents of our many local artists. Through their compelling works on newsstands, bridges, buses and more, they give our community an indelible sense of place.

Rebekah Sanderlin’s feature story, “Hunger in Paradise,” is a poignant reminder that although most of us are fortunate to “live the dream,” as they say here on Northwest Florida’s gracious Gulf coast, some of our friends and neighbors are struggling to put food on the table for their families. If you live an abundant life, perhaps you can consider lending a hand at one of the area food pantries listed. Helping to fill a backpack full of healthy snack foods just may mean a deserving local child does not go without.

Adventurous locals such as Freeport globetrotter Tracy Louthain — who penned The Last Word — and Navarre helicopter pilot Mario Werth — whose story is featured in Chat — both help lift us up, which is sometimes necessary in order to gain an “elevated” perspective on things.

Speaking of inspiring people, Thomas J. Monigan’s feature story, “Life Coaches,” gives us a chance to meet six mentors who definitely matter to the young people they lead. When I think of coaches, I immediately hear in my mind quotable one-liners being dished out to young hopefuls huddled in high school locker rooms. One that especially rings true for me is: “Excuses only satisfy those who make them.” One I need to apply more is: “Get out of your comfort zone.” But the one I am feeling most as we put this August/September 2015 issue to bed is, “Make a difference.” Three simple but powerful words that could possibly change a life — including and especially yours.

Categories: Opinion