Editor’s Note: Two of the Interfaith Advisors of the ADR New Beginnings project offer inspirational words during these difficult times. All of us are praying for the health and well-being of so many and for better times around the planet.
A Light in the Darkness – by Robyn Lebron
Fear of the unknown is very common; something we’ve all experience, I’m sure. I remember when my daughter was leaving a 200-student middle school, and going to a 2,500-student high school. She was terrified that she would be “lost all the time” until I reminded her that her favorite mall was twice that size, and she was never lost there!
The “little child” in us rears it’s head when situations arise that we feel unprepared for. But as we pass through the eye of the storm, something miraculous happens! When human beings are faced with difficult situations, they rise to extraordinary heights! The spirit inside us blossoms and we become the beings we are meant to be. The sight of another person or community in need erases all those childlike fears, and we expose our “superman” uniforms!
During Women’s History Month we pause to remember and celebrate the achievements of iconic women who positively contributed to shaping the social fabric of America.
One such woman is the spectacular singer, Aretha Franklin. She is still affectionately known as the “Queen of Soul” to her countless millions of fans and others worldwide who span generations of every race, color, gender, age and ethnicity.
We relish lounging by the lake,
watching emerald waves lap
the shallow, grass-lined shore,
summer breeze caressing our faces,
nestled under canopy of oak leaves.
Hearing the cluttered world stutter
and slow its mind-numbing whirl
on a tilted, groaning axis.
There are many different beliefs regarding “Valentine’s Day,” and the most popular one is the celebration of love. When it became commercial; buying boxes of heart shaped chocolates and red roses, is irrelevant. I want to share with my readers why this day is so important to me.
When I was young, every year my father would come home with a box of chocolate for my mother and a beautiful card that she’d tear over. (A bit dramatic for my taste, even as a child, but I wasn’t the one reading the card and at the young age of seven, I didn’t care to.) My father would also buy me a little gift. One year he bought a little heart nick knack and I loved it. I kept it on my dresser and the red clashed with my pink bedroom walls. When my brother got older, he’d buy my mother and me a card and gift. The year he gave us both a porcelain nick knack of a little girl wearing a white dress with long braided blond hair holding a red heart against her chest, I hugged him and had been so thankful. I still have that porcelain girl today. Even at that age, those gifts had more feeling than chocolate or flowers and that’s when the day became special, until it became more so when I met my husband…
Education helps in enlightening our minds and intellect and makes us think differently. Education together with sound moral values and righteous behavior can lead the muse of an excellent superstructure. Education may be a steppingstone to success. It helps us connect and form a bond with individuals from different walks of life.
I come from a rustic that places emphasis and prominence on education and helping others to grow and develop to their full potential. I try and be unique and distinctive and step into the domain and realm of unknown, a path few embark upon. The Tech field, where I work every now and then, can be very dry, dull, and boring. So I dabble in fun things and comedy to boost and invigorate the environment, making the concept of learning and teaching more enjoyable and pleasurable.
The names Grafton E. Thomas , Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, and Keith Thomas Kinnunens are among a few of the many that should, hopefully and highly likely, will live on in infamy. During this past holiday season, these three obviously deeply disturbed individuals engaged in shocking behavior committing , vile, horrific, sadistic, abominable crimes. In the case of Thomas and Kinnunens, murder was the end result.
For the few (probably very few) of you who are unaware of went down, Thomas wielded a machete and stabbed five people at a Hanukkah party in a New York City suburb critically wounding three of the victims. The following day, December 28th, Kinnunens donning a fake beard, wig and long coat, opened fire at the Church of Christ in White Settlement , Texas killing two worshipers before being shot and killed himself. Several days earlier, in Polk County, Iowa , Poole was charged with attempted murder for hate crimes – specifically attempting to murder two young children in two separate instances. Her first victim was a 12 year old Black youth in a Des Moines apartment complex. Franklin hit him with her vehicle and sped off. The young man suffered minor injuries to his leg.
A close friend of mine asked what Little Christmas is. I answered that it’s called the “Epiphany,” and celebrated on the sixth of Januarywhen the three wisemen followed the star to Bethlehem in search of baby Jesus to worship and present him with gifts. She then asked why the wisemen followed the star and presented offerings to Jesus. I had no answer. I need an answer for my friend, or I’ll seem dense. I wouldn’t expect her to know being of Hindi religion, just like I don’t know anything about her religion, which makes me want to research it now. Getting back to the point–