As we analyze the many challenges present in our society, it can sometimes seem overwhelming. It can seem as though one person cannot make a difference. I believe that each of us, individually, can make a tremendous difference.

No major social change has ever occurred because the masses, all of a sudden, decided it was a good thing to do. Consider the works of Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Jesus, Nelson Mandela, Irena Sendler, Lech Walesa, and others. Each of them had a strong belief and commitment. They were able to make major changes. You, too, in your own way, can change your community, your workplace, and the overall re­spect and acceptance of people on this planet.

The process starts with you. You need three things. You already possess all three: a brain, a heart, and courage.

You might assume, if you just use your knowledge (brain), and engage your heart (compassion) that will be enough. A brain and a heart alone are still not quite enough be­cause they do not move you to action. Of the three, courage is the most important. By using your courage, you will be more willing to ask questions, more capable of speak­ing up against inappropriate behavior and wrongful actions, more determined to have an authentic voice rather than following the majority silently.

Now is the time, and today is the day to take the first step. I encourage you to lean into your discomfort, and speak your truth. Let 2014 be your best year ever because you took a stand on what you believe to be right to make the world better for the children who will follow us.

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