My favorite time of the year is when I get to decorate my house with Christmas lights and go see other well-known neighborhoods full of lights, I make the one kind of cookie that I’m good at (I’m no baker!), and I get to shower my kids in a yearly extravaganza of fun-filled weekends of holiday cheer and ending each day with a gift to unwrap as we count down to Christmas with my make-shift advent calendar(which is really just a bunch of different small gifts wrapped and placed all over the family room for them to find). It’s also a time when I really look back at the year we just had and remember where we were, where we are now and where we might be in the future. It’s usually a time I reflect on my family but this year I am also reflecting on the world.
While I may sit comfortably on my Temperpedic king-sized mattress typing this post, others are sitting on a hard cement floor on the side of a road. While I ate deliciously warm and filling soup for dinner this evening, others are going to bed hungry, afraid, and maybe even alone. I have many comforts in this world such as a home, a car, and a place to work that provides a comfortable living for me and my family. I have many things to be thankful for and I can’t tell you how many times I drove home praying to God above and thanking him for all his blessings. This post isn’t to boast about what kind of material things I own or how much money I have or don’t have but rather it’s a post of gratefulness, humbleness, and a reflection on humanity as a whole.
I didn’t come from a wealthy family and I didn’t have much of anything growing up but we never went hungry. I sometimes sit and think that if I were born in any other country, where could it have been? What are the odds that I would be born “me” and born “here” in the United States of America? I may have grown up poor in America but in reality I was rich compared to much of the rest of the world. As I write this post, according to Worldometers.info, almost 11,000 people have died this year from hunger alone, over 823,000,000 people are undernourished and over 584,000,000 have no safe drinking water sources and the numbers keep going up. And here I am with the luxury to decide if I was a cheeseburger or a sandwhich for lunch. I think that even while I was a child growing up on the welfare system in Southern California, I still had much to be thankful for such as the food on my plate that I ate every evening, the roof over my head, and the clothes on my back. I may not have had a CD player or a computer growing up, but at least I can say that I never went hungry and I had the basic things one needs to survive.
As I write this post I am truly troubled about the state of the world we are living in. I think that a lot of the times, the comforts of home and the “bubble” we create and live in block our sight and we don’t always see the horrors someone else is going through. I read a few articles on the collapsing Venezuela government and what it’s doing to the people there. Children are dying from hunger every day and it has made me cry to see pictures of babies with frail little bodies struggling to survive with no medicine and no food. While hurricanes ravished the southern part of our country, leaving devastation across Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, radical terrorist attacks continued all over the world and I look to 2018 with fear and anxiety because my eldest daughter will start kindergarten. When I was a child, the worse thing we had to plan for was an earthquake and now children have to practice terrorist attack drills and learn what it means to go into “lock down” at their school because some crazy person is “out for blood.”
I wonder where is the outcry for humanity? Where is our calling to be better people? Did we throw it to the wind on a Democratic ticket or do we still think that Republicans are going to fight the good cause for the God-fearing people? Why aren’t we truly standing up for each other and realizing that we are all just human, we are really all just the same? I can tell you that the answers aren’t coming out of an actor’s mouth, it isn’t in the story telling of another J.K. Rowling book or sung in the lyrics of another stupid song about drinking in a club. I wonder how much more society and humanity as a whole can take before we all crack. I look to history and I see fallen societies of people who had it all and lost it. I see the past of great civilizations and think that someday someone in the future will look back at us and wonder how we fell too. How can we get ahead as a whole without clawing and fighting each other, taking advantage of the weak and helpless, and allowing greed to take over our hearts? We can’t and we wont.
I look to 2018 and I pray for a better future for my children. I look to the past and hope that we learn from the mistakes of others, our own mistakes and do what we can to be better people to each other. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older or maybe it’s because I’ve finally started to pay attention to the world. Maybe it is also because I’m a mother and I see things differently than I did when I was younger and didn’t have two little people to care for. I know I’m not alone in my concerns and that there are many other people who have concern for the one world we live in. After all, it’s the only earth we have, does global warming have to be real in order for us to take care of it? Do we need to know what hunger truly feels like in order to care about someone else’s hunger? I look to 2018 and see much need for humanitarian action. I look to 2018 and realize that it is truly my time to give back to my community and to others that I don’t know and may never meet in my lifetime however I can touch their lives by donating what I have to them.