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hopeThe holiday season brings with it a flurry of activities: so many different faith and family traditions coincide at this time of year. Amidst the holiday bustle though, the closing of one year and the anticipation for the next also provokes reflection. We look back at our accomplishments, and mistakes; the moments of great joy, and sorrow; we appreciate the complex spectrum that life is lived on. We give thanks for the good, persevere through the bad, and promise to try harder and be better next year.

Our hearts go out to the families in Newtown, CT. Our thoughts and prayers are with them particularly at this time but we are also mindful that there are many others who need comfort and care too. We know that life is precious, precarious and often capricious in the way it apportions triumph and tragedy among us. It is exactly why at this time each year we acknowledge the good fortune we are blessed with and we mourn what we have lost as well. These twin sides of existence are forever. Life is not one or the other, it is both. We cannot change that fact. We can only help each other through the tough moments and come together to celebrate life’s joys.

We may feel helpless in the face of tragedy but we are not. There are always lessons to be learned, changes and improvements to make, and we will get there. In the immediate though, we can all give of our time, resources, and spirit this holiday season. As I have said before, I encourage you to consider donating to worthy charities that support your community and the causes you believe in. The gift of your time can be even more rewarding than money, for you and the recipients. Honor a veteran, bring canned goods to a food bank, or donate clothes to a shelter. Finally, as you move through your day, smile at people, be patient, say please, thank you and you’re welcome. As a society we fight against the vagaries of life in big and small ways. Don’t underestimate the power to help heal both ourselves and others that we all have within us.  Together we can make the world a better place.

I hope that all of you will enjoy time with family and friends in the coming weeks. Please have a safe and happy holiday season! 

Jerry Brenholz
President and CEO
ATR International

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