January has arrived, and the trees have been returned to green and adornments placed away. The month and the year are both new, and there is an opportunity to begin again. We look back and forge towards this unknown, but hopeful future with the lessons of our past acting as our guide in the journey ahead.
My birthday falls roughly at the same time as Martin Luther King Day, so I have always spent this time of year reflecting. He was given a short life, but with every morning he awoke believing in the future and the ability to make a difference for those around him and generations to come. He was oppressed, but hopeful. He was subjugated, but he knew he could rise. He struggled with the existence of hate, but he prevailed with presence of love. Each day is given to us. It is up to each how to impact the future.
As a mother who has also balanced working as a public official, it was sometimes startling that people who do not know reasons behind decisions or did not know who I was beyond a vote, still would voice their criticisms aloud. I have read correspondences and listened to those that spoke out, and always wondered why certain statements are said aloud when kindness is always an option. If we would all concentrate our breaths and efforts on helping the community around us instead of using our life’s time nescient or benighted with conjecture, everyone would be in a better place.
Each day we rise and we must be mindful of our words, our actions, our decisions made. We must recall his words and remind ourselves the importance of doing for others. For I have learned, that often those that are the quietest, the ones that can offer a smile but hide beneath the shadows of others, are at times the ones most in need of our attention. The loud can remonstrate and cavil, but it is often the silent who are truly suffering. We must live each day to hear those that want attention, but understand that behind every loud voice or individual agenda, there are numerous others who require our help in having basic needs met. We must always assist those that struggle without asking or speaking aloud. We must listen to the silence and look to help those that do not ask for themselves. We are given this day to make tomorrow better for those around us.