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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
As a teacher at the collegiate level, I am sometimes asked by my International students to “explain” America. It’s a big topic! So I simply respond by saying that we “make big mistakes and then we correct them.” It is not an admission of failure. It is an expression of success. My intention is to convey our willingness to do so, as compared to countries that perpetuate policies and ideas that aren’t good for their people. We knew we could do better.
We see numerous examples of this in our history. We withheld the right to vote from women. We engaged in the practice of slavery. We restricted the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman versus all people who love one another, an issue still playing itself out in our society today. We allege that we are tolerant of all religions, and yet for some religions, maybe not so much. These issues, too, will be resolved over time. Because we do the right thing. Our history has proven that people knew that we could do better, and they did.
In Martin Luther King’s carefully crafted speech at the Reflecting Pool, he suggested, in an ever so delicate way, that America had not fulfilled the promise of equality crafted by its forefathers to our Nation’s people. To all of its people. In other words, Martin Luther King knew we could do better.
The people of our nation face such challenges today, such as human rights, poverty, education, nutrition, health care, housing, and more. It seems the more we work to address them, the target that we strive to achieve keeps moving. The capacity of people to volunteer their time toward this end never ceases to amaze us here at The Make Life Good Company.
And it seems that no matter how much we’ve done as a people, and no matter how much the target moves, we know that we can still do better. Given our history, we know we will. Given the urgency, we should start now.
We hope to meet you on the road to doing better and making life good for all.
As we strive to “Remind, Encourage and Inspire” others to make life good for people in every possible way, my thoughts turn to one of my favorite subjects: Man’s Best Friend.
We’re lucky here at The Make Life Good Company. As we scan the globe, the Internet, and even our own web site and social media channels, we discover the ways that people not only make life good for people, but for animals as well. We see the cruel ways in which people disregard animal life, and then we discover the ways that heroes emerge each day to combat the evil in our world.
Here are some of those ways:
- In Providence, RI, an animal was believed to have been thrown from an automobile and killed. But we see organizations like the SPCA around to pursue justice and to offer rewards for information leading to the prosecution of the perpetrators. Fortunately, the SPCA determined that the dog was killed beforehand, and was not thrown from a car. But without agencies like the SPCA, one less voice would be heard in support of animals.
- At the University of Rhode Island we see students committed to training dogs for the future benefit of others who need special assistance. These students went to URI in some cases because of the freedom they were afforded to make this a part of not only their curriculum, but their lives. Check out the “Puppy Raisers Club” at URI.
- Service dogs are also regularly featured on the Today Show (“Wrangler”) to raise awareness about the importance of Service Animals to those in need of assistance at home. This has to inspire others to become involved in this worthwhile endeavor.
- Want to really raise the bar of preserving animal life? It was divulged at the Westminster Kennel Dog Show in NYC that one concerned group of lovers of animal life actually saved a breed from extinction! Can the love and values about the importance of animal life be expressed any more deeply than this?
That’s it for now. We hope that this blog helps to “remind, encourage and inspire” you to make life good for others – and dogs and other pets. Adopt a dog (or other pet) today. Let us know if we can help!
It is incredibly fitting that we are officially launching our website around the holiday season as we have much to be thankful for: our families, our friends, and those who support us and our mission to Make Life Good for others. We can’t be happier to be in the position we’re in where we have the opportunity to now spread the word through our own messages in addition to the stories from the wonderful people out there doing the same.It’s no secret we are living in a tumultuous time, where people are weary, scared, and heartbroken about the recent horrific events in Paris, Mali, Kenya, Syria, and other places around the world. And while our company and a great many around the world mourn for those whose lives we’ve lost, there are more stories of forgiveness, bravery, unity and resolve expressed every day. It’s sometimes forgotten how love and the power of the human spirit bond us together and how people of all walks of life encourage and inspire one another to move on through such difficult circumstances.Once again, we’d like to thank you all for your support. In difficult times we feel it’s important to be there for one another and we hope, through our messages and through stories from people around the world, we can aid in the healing and create awareness of issues that persist.We appreciate you taking the time to read our new post on our new website. We will be posting on a weekly basis and we look forward to connecting with you all soon!
The MLG Team