PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Fall colors radiate a little extra energy

Judy Waters

Judy Waters

The colors of fall have been especially radiant this year. The season's change has produced a marvelous pallet of color and richness to our community. The fall of the year has always been a most favorite time of the year to me personally.

I seem to have an extra bit of energy with the cool, crisp days of fall. The crispness of morning along with the surroundings of the rich fall colors often reminds me of how nature feeds our souls in preparation for the change from summertime to the eventual chills of winter.

On a recent trip to Lake Lanier Islands, I was awestruck by the view of a lake that has risen to full pool snuggled in amongst these beautiful colors of red, orange, bronze and golden yellow. I actually stopped on the side of the road to reflect on this beautiful sight.

I began to correlate this exceptional happening to a "look back" of a year of challenges that have caused all of us to wonder what will be next.

It has been a year filled with the stress of the economy, the loss of jobs, the failure of banks and the mass foreclosure events. There is more homelessness than in 70 years, and the lists of those in need have grown to alarming numbers.

About the time I began to feel sad, depressed and full of questions, I saw the above display and I was suddenly reminded of my own attitude and what I should actually do. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it. And so it is with us, we are in charge of our attitudes.

Even though our lives have changed this year, we all have been allowed extra time to be creative in our professional life as well as personal life. Our relationships have grown stronger as the needs of our fellow man have increased.

The passions of our hearts have become realities.

Philanthropic hearts have exceeded all expectations of giving to the greater good.

Thanks to my Creator, for the lessons of life. Yes, we have struggled, yes, we have had to cut back, and yes, we have been saddened at some losses in this past year. But I want to thank all of you and ask that you join me as we truly care for each other as we leave the summertime of '09 and press forward together with greater courage and commitment than ever.

My very best wishes to all.

Judy Waters is executive director for the Community Foundation for NE Georgia.

People Helping People is a weekly column written by the executive directors of nonprofit organizations in Gwinnett County. Need help or know someone that does? The Gwinnett Helpline directs callers to the appropriate nonprofit agency. Call 770-995-3339.