Tag Archive: Horn of Africa


New Beginnings


New Beginnings

 

    January always seems to be a time and occasion for new beginnings. It marks the beginning of a new year, and we are hopeful that this year will be better than the last. I, too, have that hope. I hope this year isn’t filled with as much loss and sadness as last year was; not only for me but for all those that the light touches.

  But no matter how I try and divide it, had it not been for the wonderful people in my life this past year…I may not have survived the sadness and loss. All of this goes back to my concept of life…everything has its season…and God brings all things into the light. I may have had moments when I was sad or even cried, but they were downplayed by the many minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months I had filled with smiles and laughter.

  While I can not deny the pain that I felt, I also could not hide the joy that our Creator bestowed upon me, as well. I learned that the best way to work through my sadness was to write. I not only wrote about what made me unhappy in my own personal life…but what made me sad with the world that we all live in. And although I am only one person, I was hopeful that if only one person read what I wrote…maybe they would tell someone else about it. We have a possibility to link to one another like a chain…and we could spread compassion instead of hate. It is a way of becoming one with our creator. And since we all have the attributes of God, similar to the way we have characteristics of our birth parents; we can choose to give love and become love.

  The sadness I had felt periodically through out the year was very real; and while focusing on other things did not make the emotions go away…it did help steady me. I could concentrate on what was making someone else sad or concerned. I could lend my shoulder or ear to my fellow man/woman…hoping to show them that they are a significant part of my life; furthering the idea that we are all one.

  My heart broke for the children dying in the Horn of Africa; and whilst I could not feed them…I could bring them into my writing. I could pray for them and those who were in a position to help them. I could sign an online petition and write about the drought and the deaths occurring as a result of that drought. I could link my writing back to an informative video, petition or information link…so if nothing else, I helped create awareness. This gave me hope, because finally I felt like I was not only a drop of water in a bucket…but the beginning of a downpour. If I could take a small step, perhaps someone else would, as well. In January of last year there were people who had no idea what was going on in the Horn of Africa, and some didn’t even know where it was. However, by December, we could no longer claim ignorance. Yes, we could still choose to do nothing. We could sit around on our hands or point fingers at others…but we could no longer say, “I just didn’t know”. The actions we take from this point on would be an informed action…even if the only action we took…was to do nothing.

  Also in this past year, we came face to face with the death penalty. And although our feelings and thoughts on it were clearly divided…we allowed ourselves to have the conversation. This is also another sore spot in my heart, as I feel without a doubt that ALL life is precious. Even though we may not agree about the issue, this year, via the Troy Anthony Davis execution, we were all able to voice our opinions. Again this is a sad situation, but we should at least rejoice in the fact that we got the opportunity to have the conversation. And I do pray in the coming year and many more to come that the rest of the country will join the 15 states that have taken away the death penalty. Hopefully we will see that punishment should be just that and not retaliation…murder is murder.

  In 2011, we became painfully aware of our children and the issues that bullying has on them. We learned that it is no longer that kid on the corner waiting to steal lunch money. Bullying has gotten much more perverse, violent even fatal. As parents we need to be proactive before we must become reactive. Our children are dying, not only at the hands of other children…but at their own hands. The number of teenage suicides is on the rise and this is largely due to other teenagers. We must watch our children. Be aware of the social networking that they participate in…Bullying does not just happen in the classroom, but online and via text messages. Being a teenager is difficult, and being a parent just became more difficult. Watch your children…do they find humor at the expense of other children? Watch for the signs of bullying…or even worse….complacency. If your child does not speak up for the child that is being harassed…they are contributing to the abuse of that child. Create a dialogue with your children…their lives have just gotten dangerous. When you are aware that your child is not “NICE”…and you don’t speak to them…it is similar to letting them walk out of your home to go school with a gun in their back pack.

  2012 is a year of hope; a year of reflection. We can be the change we are always looking for by using the experience of 2011. I pray that you use the love of our creator in all that you say and do.

 

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Giving Thanks


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.

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