New books by Faith Brown

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Some years ago, I had two photo stickers with the words: "Brighten the corner where you are" and "Bloom where you are planted". In order to safeguard these stickers, I placed them first on my dressing mirror and later in a photo album I looked at often, especially when I had family or friends visiting. Keeping them in the album was my way of preserving them while at the same time passing the message along. There was hardly anyone who did not admire the stickers. The message in those stickers have been a part of my guiding principle in life. It has led me to do things I remember with joy. They are things most people around me do not know about. I thrive at those acts of charity that often go unnoticed and find them more rewarding. Each time I neglect this, I feel like I am not living my life to the fullest. There is always something I can do to change my world. There is always something you can do. Just look around you.

The message in both stickers is the same: "Make a positive difference wherever you find yourself." It takes just one person to change the world. Your neighbourhood is your world. You don't have to be Bill Gates to do that. You don't have to be Mother Teresa or other missionaries around the world. You don't have to be Christiane Amanpour or other popular reporters around the world. You don't have to be Craig and Marc Kielburger, founders of Free The Children. Who you are, what you have in your hand, is sufficient. You may not have the money but you can spare an hour a week to change the world around you. If the difference you make in your community grows into something huge, that would be wonderful too; but that's not a motivation. Although different, it reminds me of the story of how the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC started as something small. Today, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I will always remember how enthralled I was when my best friend took me there on December 22, 2011.

Everyone has something that can be used to make the world a better place. It may be just a smile. It may be a kind word or action. It may be your special gifts like writing, music, and other arts. It may be your money, time, energy. There is always something we can give. There is always a need for what you have to give. The little you have becomes much when you give it. We can change our worlds. One at a time: one person helping another. One person can change the world in a good way. That person is me. That person is you. Make giving your lifestyle.

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