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Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar.
A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable, not unlike Lincoln’s, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid.
“Oh my," she exclaims her breath smoking the windowpane, “it’s fruitcake weather!”
“I knew it before I got out of bed,” she says, turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. “The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. And there were no birds singing; they’ve gone to warmer country, yes indeed. Oh, Buddy (as she called the Author) stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Help me find my hat. We’ve thirty cakes to bake.”
And so begins one of the few books that Truman Capote ever wrote called “A Christmas Memory” that describes his early years being raised by an elderly distant cousin, Ms. Sook Faulk. Each year she recognized the arrival of “fruitcake season” and commenced baking fruit cakes that she distributed to people about whom she cared. She recognized the characteristics of “the Season”: the courthouse bell sounding cold and clear, the leafless trees and the absence of birds singing. She knew that it was time.
There’s something to be said about the importance of “recognizing the Seasons” in one’s life, especially when that Season is so important, not only for you, but for so many others. We are in one such Season now. “Late November” will be too late to recognize the Season that we, as Americans, are in. November 9th will be too late. This November, even more importantly than the seasons of four, eight, twelve or more years ago, we must recognize the importance of this Season, for it will dramatically affect the future of our Country. We must choose the ingredients now, and let them rise in our collective consciousness before November 9th. Make that day a day of celebration. The Season will be over.
Therefore, just as the Baker must recognize the difference between “baking powder and baking soda,” we must recognize the difference between “love and hate,” and especially the difference between “democrats*" and "demagogues.”
Your choice can Make Life Good for so many people.
Recognize the Season.
* Democrat, noun, an advocate or supporter of democracy.
It’s a basic human movement, putting one’s foot in front of the other. This simple movement, running, is used as a physical outlet for some, pounding the roads or trails enjoying the changing colors of the seasons, snow melting revealing the green signaling spring.
For others, it’s an emotional outlet, something that provides an environment of calm and escape from stresses at home and work, the place where you can go to forget and tame former addictions or obesity and create a sense of hope and accomplishment.
Running is also a simple and powerful endeavor where millions of people worldwide get out and move to raise awareness and money to fight disease, support emotional wounds of soldiers, raise money for families in need, help children receive a better educational opportunity, among many so many other charitable purposes.
On March 26th, 2016, The Make Life Good Company was fortunate enough to support CharityTeams.org (www.CharityTeams.org), led by company co-founder Mike’s long- time friend, Susan Hurley, during her team’s run from Hopkinton to Chestnut Hill during their training run of 21 miles in preparation for this year’s Boston Marathon. This incredible group of runners (in addition to other similar groups of runners) raise millions of dollars every year in support of dozens of organizations - all to “make life good” for their friends, family and even strangers. Every footstep is a step closer to running the 26.2 miles of the marathon, and with every step, the hope of making a difference becomes louder and louder in their minds as it does with crowds lined on the streets of Boston. The personal victory is only surpassed by the work each individual has done to raise awareness, and funds, for their particular cause.
I have raced the Boston Marathon twice and raised money for various charities in the process. So I know first hand how extremely difficult it is for the all the runners who are part of CharityTeams.org, and the many other groups, trying to raise money for their organizations.
So with all that said, we at The Make Life Good Company have created a unique “runners” t-shirt inspired by CharityTeams.org and all the racers running for charity with the slogan "I Run To Make Life Good For Others." Check it out here: bit.ly/1oqvjnv.
So, if you are running any race for charity, and you purchase our specially-designed t-shirt, please let us know your charity and your fundraising page (You can give us this information on our check-out page in a “note” to us.) Then, we will distribute this information to all of our social media outlets to help you with your final push to your goal.
Or, if you’d like to purchase our t-shirt but do not have a charity, please go to www.charityteams.org and pick one of the charities listed on the “races and services” tab and then “Boston” to get a list. Choose the one you’d like to support.
Whichever option you select, we will donate $5.00 to the charity you’ve chosen for each tee you purchase.
I, like you, run to “make life good” for others!
Mike Sullivan, Co-Founder
The Make Life Good Company
It seems like such a simple act - the act of voting. Yet, as many people know, very few people actually vote. What is sad about this is that our country asks very little of us. At one time the United States expected people to serve in the military when the draft existed. Now even that act of patriotism is optional.
Isn’t voluntarily voting the least we can do?
Our goal here at The Make Life Good Company has always been to “remind, encourage and inspire” people to “make life good” for others. But, once again, it’s hard to get away from the fact that, when we vote, we too can feel good about what we’ve done.
I like to observe the ways in which we are encouraged by others to engage in activities like volunteerism and voting. When we volunteer we are told that we will feel good “knowing that we helped others.” Yes, that’s good, but I’ve found that the reward is much greater than that! Specifically, I have forged great friendships and learned a lot through volunteerism. And yes, I have also derived great satisfaction from helping others.
When we vote, we are told that “your one vote can make a difference”! Yes it can. But even greater is the knowledge that voting for the right person can “make a difference” for many people throughout our land. That is where the true difference is made.
With that in mind, won’t you vote during this election season? By doing so, you will know that you have made a positive difference in the lives of people in need, somewhere in our country. Voting doesn’t require reciprocation by those who benefit by your decision. In that sense, it is truly a selfless act.
So be sure to vote in this political season and “make life good” for someone else. What a wonderful American right we enjoy, and responsibility we have!