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2016: Some assembly required

December 31, 2015
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

During the recent holiday shopping season, I noticed more items than ever with labels warning, "some assembly required."

Bicycles and book-cases, playground sets and picnic tables, all depended on an investment of time and effort to transform them from a collection of random parts in a box to useful items.

As I stand here at the doorway of a promising new year, I realize the collection of brand new days stretching ahead of us should also carry that same assembly- required warning.

The folks who step through this doorway with a well-equipped toolbox are the ones who will be most successful in crafting the best possible 2016.

But what tools do we need to meet such a challenge?

One of the most important will be enthusiasm. Those who have Moseyed with me for a while know that I'm a great fan of enthusiasm. It's the attitude that always adds that extra sparkle to each day we live.

Curiosity is another necessary tool for assembling a winning year. Question-askers are rewarded all along their way with answers that open new pathways, unexpected opportunities.

As fascinating as our world has become, there are folks I've met who seem to have no interest in expanding their knowledge beyond the basics. Yet, those with an insatiable thirst for knowledge constantly find new facets to this jewel called life. If we stretch our minds with curiosity, by this time next year we'll know more about ourselves, our fellow men and women and our world. It's a great way to get more out of life in the months that lie ahead.

The third vital tool for the adventures that await us in 2016 is a sense of humor. There seems to be so much sorrow and conflict out there. But, if we keep our laugh lines open, we'll find enough to smile about to smooth out the inevitable potholes in each section of our road of life.

But the most important tool we can bring along to help us in building this New Year is faith.

One of my favorite short prayers is, "Dear God, please help me to remember that nothing can happen to me today that You and I can't handle."

With a deep belief in God and the inborn goodness of mankind, we can face anything. Although headlines scream at us daily with tales of war and wantonness, for every story that makes our blood run cold, there are countless reports that can make us proud of our fellow humans. The good stuff never gets the press. It seldom sells papers, finds its way to the talk shows or makes the top of the evening news. But we all know folks who are shining examples of what is fine and decent.

Faith in God and our fellow man can cut through the darkest night, pull us out of the deepest depression.

Enthusiasm, curiosity, humor and faith. They are just a few of the key tools that can help us craft the collection of days ahead into a 2016 worthy of remembering.

So sharpen your tools and keep them handy. Somewhere, hidden away in the small print on the first calendar page of the new year, Jan. 1, 2016, will be that familiar warning, "some assembly required."



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