Giving Thanks

  Today I want to give thanks for the experiences of this past year. Some have been happy and some have been sad…but all have been necessary. This year my sister passed away…and while I definitely feel her absence…which makes me sad. I also felt blessed by her presence…for which I will forever be grateful. Life has a way of giving you just what you need…even though we might want more or feel like we actually have less. I am a better person for just having known her…and fortunate enough to have just known her. My sister loved me unconditionally, as I did her. And while I am still saddened by her death…I am elated that God loved me so much that He sent her to me…even if our time was brief.

  This year was a time of awareness…the world had become more aware of the trauma caused by the famine in the Horn of Africa. While this has been an ongoing problem, which has now become dire…, at least now we can no longer claim ignorance. We must acknowledge the ongoing problem and the obligation that we have to try and help…our fellow man. I have seen online videos and statements….as well as, online petitions to create awareness of this devastating problem. I pray that this dreadful condition…improves over the coming year. The only way to improve…however is to bring and keep this issue in the light; as people, it is our job to bring awareness to the fact that our fellow man is starving to death.

  In 2011, several states created racial profiling laws; and while I found this to be sad and disheartening…I still have hope that we will eventually do the right thing. It is my prayer that in the coming year we will be able to look at all the injustices and learn from our own mistakes. I hope that we will soon learn that not only are we no better or superior to anyone or anything else; but that there is no way for anyone to fix what has already happened. All that we may hope for in the near future is that we can move ahead and start treating other people as we would like to be treated…even if we aren’t being done so right now. I believe that we have the ability to rise above our differences and uplift ourselves by uplifting our fellow man. We have the chance to rise above any and all adversity…using our unique characteristics as means to connect. In 2012, I pray that we will understand that racial profiling, legal or not, is a huge step backward…and is no better than making our fellow man sit at the back of the bus.

  I want to thank Troy Davis…posthumously, while the light and awareness you helped spread did not save your life…I believe that it will help others. I hope that people may understand, because of your voice beyond the grave…that killing is wrong…no matter whom the assailant is. I also wish peace to the families of those touched by this case and the thousands before it. Let us not dwell on the errors of man…but learn from it so that we can build upon the fact that loving one another is all we need to do.

  2011 was the year that American troops came home from Afghanistan…and while too much life was lost…on both sides…. I know we are relieved to have our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers back on our soil. But let us not be so overjoyed that we forget the many lives lost. I pray we spend more time giving unsolicited hugs to the children of that war…once time has escaped us…there is no way to back track; but we can begin new…today.

  My thoughts and prayers are with those people still at war…all over the globe; those children of God fighting for their rights to exist…and I ask that we no longer turn a deaf ear to their plight. Let us remember how hard it was for us…knowing that our family members, our neighbors…our fellow man were fighting and may not return. And pray for those families that still live with that turmoil today. Let us show compassion and empathy for the orphans born as a result of the wage of war…not forgetting that it is our children that pay that price.

  Let us remember in the coming year, the sacrifices that the women in our lives have made. Please join me in shining light on anyone and everyone who believes they have the right to do harm to any one of them. Please help me bring awareness to the fact that millions of women are beaten, abused (physically and verbally), raped, and even killed every year…a senseless and vile act. But even sadder than the fact that it happens…is the fact that it usually happens at the hand of someone they love and trust. I pray God reminds us to be respectful and kind to one another everyday…because we are breeding this behavior in our young children who sit and watch idly. I pray for the soldiers in this fight…the women and girls that are affected by this travesty every single day. With love, perhaps we can put an end to this war, as well. 

Lastly, I want to thank all of those people who did the right thing this year…loved unconditionally without bias. You are the reigning example of what we are all supposed to rise to…your example speaks in leaps and bounds.

  I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season, and hope you leave room for growth in the coming year. Every day is a lesson. Every thought can maintain peace or create war…let us shine our Creator’s love on all that we touch.