This is for my daughter, Rebecca. Sometimes shy, she seized an opportunity to speak on behalf of fourth graders at the school holiday party last week. She rehearsed until she had memorized all two paragraphs the teacher gave her, and then delivered the remarks with smiles and confidence. This…from a kid who gets speech therapy.

It was one proud moment for her, and for mom, and even though the occasion didn’t quite merit congratulatory flowers (I’ll wait until the school play this spring), her action got me thinking about how vital it is to show your worth, inside and out.

This is not to say that one needs a public venue to measure The Shine Factor. On the contrary, sometimes we shine brightest in a more solitary fashion. As when the spark of an idea leads us down a new path in our writing, or we roll pastry dough into perfect circles, or suddenly make connections while meditating. Perhaps we shine in the midst of a teachable moment with our children, or when shifting the tone of a discussion with our partners from conflict to calm.

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Go ahead and ignite all that makes you shine. Let it burn bright on the inside and for all the world to see.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

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