Regardless of the hate we've witnessed this year, we must shine our light into the shadowed corners of the world. Doing so will counter that negativity by modeling a life full of, respect, passion, love, and inclusiveness. When did society become so divided and hardened? Life is meant to be beautiful and is far richer when we tap into our kindness, lighthearted play, and curiosity. Maybe some of us were never taught these things; were never shown it was possible; or were told to grow up past all that and to get serious. Hearts are capable of softening. Bridges are capable of being rebuilt. We are capable of becoming a more compassionate human race. How this comes to be is by not hiding our true selves away. Show the real self, the one that laughs so hard we snort or pee a little; the self that speaks out or stands up for what's right; the self that belts out to our favorite song off-key even when others are listening; the self that remains curious enough to explore the wonders of the world; the self that pushes to become a better person with tough conversations; the self that aims to do good in the world; the self that dreams big; the self that listens to others; the self the finds patience; the self that celebrates people's differences; the self that loves others for who they are; the self that takes in life lessons; the self that never gives up; the self that believes that things will get better. By letting our true selves out, we live life fully and completely, not halfheartedly. It can be scary to be authentic with others, but being real means living a more meaningful life. There is no good reason to shrink just because others don't share the same level of passion, drive, or ambition. If we shine our hearts out, others will learn by example. By being our true selves, we become leaders for those around us. It's human nature to identify leaders by their confidence and resilience and this is greatly amplified when the leader is authentic. Once you make the shift of letting out the real you, if you haven't already, it'll be hard to conceal yourself ever again because our hearts cry out to be known for who we really are. You are called to shine bright by being the true you. The world needs your light now more than ever. May you find the courage and strength every day to brighten this world.