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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Letter from Publisher

When my daughter was young, I read to her every night before bedtime. It helped her wind down and I enjoyed the quiet togetherness. Her favorite book, The Lorax, was always in the nightly lineup and I liked to save it for last so she heard its ultimate message just before sleep: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

Now that my daughter’s in high school, I like to think that her active social conscience and the fervor with which she tackles present-day issues like charitable donation drives, animal cruelty and environmental safety is tied to those peaceful teaching moments.

In our hectic, driven and often narcissistically motivated society, we all too often overlook our individual responsibility to, as The Lorax simplified for us, “make things better.” It starts by caring. We may care enough to act for the greater good by feeding the hungry in our community, as Avery Mack reveals in “Food Gleaning,” or by forwarding stewardship of our planet with a trip outside, as Harriet Shugarman explores in “Adventures in Nature."

We’re daily offered innumerable ways to care.

When I think about helping to care for people and the planet, I intentionally think small, knowing how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by the big picture.  I like songwriter Jana Stanfield’s understanding that, “I can’t do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good I can give.” For me, it starts with acts of kindness toward store attendants and carpooling commuters.  Of course it’s nurturing to take part in a large-scale charity event or lend a hand in a bigger way, but I see all the small daily acts adding up to make an ever bigger difference.

I whole-heartedly believe in the adage that a person is tallest when they are bending to help someone else. It only takes a little effort each day to feel like part of the solution. Good always starts in someone’s caring.  

To The Lorax way of living,

Michelle Vacanti, Publisher

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