As I was waiting my turn in the grocery checkout, I noticed that the end of the year magazines were already out. You know the ones, the same themes happen every year. One front cover was the faces of the famous people who passed away in 2016. Some magazines highlighted the top 10 in specific categories: movies, books, and TV shows. No doubt someone will do the top stories of 2016.
One of my favorite lines of a Christmas carol is….. “Peace on earth, can it be?” I would encourage us all to pause and think about what it would take to create peace.
Remember with joy the good things of 2016. Commit yourself with hope that we can advance our communities in 2017. We can do more to bring our abilities and those of the people we support to light.
I have combined my top stories under three of my greatest hopes for us in 2017.
- I hope that we will celebrate the unique gifts we bring to our world.
This response to one of my blogs is a great place to start.
Good afternoon, I just read your blog on” be in the light”. I don’t usually comment on them when I read them but this one touched my heart. I am a Christian and when I read this I always think of myself being the light instead of ‘in the light’. I take care of five clients, three of them are nonverbal and one of them is losing her eyesight. Being their light, to me, means helping them in any way I can to make their life happy. Taking them on their doctor’s appointments, preparing good meals for them, and taking them out in the community to places they like to go, not where I want them to be. Also helping them to do what they want to do and not what I want them to do. Being their light, to me, puts a smile on their faces. Every time I see them or they see or hear me, they give me a warm smile and a big hug and a loud hello. They know they can count on me for anything. I always ask them how their day went, how are they feeling and what would they like to eat and where would they like to go. The people who are nonverbal let me know by acting out; loud noises or banging. When I see this, I know this is the place they do not want to be, or this is not the food they do not like. I’ve been in their lives for about 17 years, they are in the light I am just the brightness that helps that light shine. I enjoy reading what you have to say.
Thank you and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
If we would balance our needs for achievement with the needs of others, the path to peace would be vibrant.
- I hope we will promote peaceful dialogue and mutual understanding.
Read this response to a blog I recently posted about a campaign of some local teenagers to gather 100 hats for the homeless.
Years back I remember petitioning for a crossing guard at a particular location.
I was a fearful young girl trying to prevent a potential hit and run.
I can remember a young boy with no hat on and it was cold.
I spoke with parents about getting a guard to cross their children.
I never thought that maybe they couldn’t afford a hat.
My first thought was, “Why would his mother allow him to leave without a hat.”
If we would see the world from the other person’s perspective the path to peace would be clearer.
3. I hope inclusion rules our world in 2017
Read this story about a local Santa.
One of our staff just told me another story. His grandchild had met Santa on the town fire truck.
One of Santa’s helpers gave her a candy cane she could not wait to eat. Santa, he noticed, had Down Syndrome. None of us wants to be left out. None of us wants a line drawn that says we won’t be given a chance to be what we want to be. This year every one of our agency goal teams which relates to direct service has a full member who has a disability. Be on the lookout for opportunities.
If inclusion applied to everyone, the path to peace would be fully staffed.
If we can honor our unique gifts and abilities, listen and speak with respect, and include everyone, peace will not be far behind.
We wish you all peace in 2017.
Happy New Year from KenCrest.