Tis the season for giving back

One of my goals for this blog is to further engage with my community. For me this means finding different ways to get involved and not remain a passive observer. I find that many times it's too easy to come home after a hard days work and just lounge on the couch. Not anymore. I've made a commitment to myself to get out more and get involved. This time of year can be a great way to get involved with others.

There are many reasons to get involved in your community. Some people want to meet new people. Some want to make a difference in the world. Some want to feel better about themselves. Some do it because it's cool. Some just do it because they care. I am constantly amazed at how much there is to see and do in the world.

Every time I travel my world view grows to see a perspective that I didn't know about before. I didn't fully understand the differences and similarities among other cultures until I traveled to Europe. Practicing Spanish came to a whole new level when studying abroad in Central America. These events in my life were life changing because I felt like a new age explorer of the world. My thirst for culture and life experiences grew with every new trip.

In Madison, I find a similar phenomenon. The more I get involved and talk to people in the community, the more I find out about interesting things that I can do. Last month I went to a government 101 lecture series with Madison Magnet and learned how EASY it is to make a difference in local politics. I love learning about new businesses and local issues through Downtown Madison, Inc. A few days ago I signed up to ring bells for the Salvation Army (it's my first time ringing bells). I also signed up to voluntarily jump into Lake Monona in February to raise money for the Special Olympics (crazy, I know).

There really is a ton of opportunities to get involved in activities that make a difference. This time of year many people focus on family, gifts, and friendship. I encourage you to find a way to get yourself involved and give back to others. You just might like it.

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