2020 was like no other year we've EVER experienced.
We’ve seen many people rise to the occasion, showing compassion, caring and concern for neighbors and friends. We’ve also seen others that report neighbors who are not wearing a mask while walking their dog in the middle of a field with no one around!
The fact that so many of us can observe the same things and come to different conclusions may be a reflection of our own inner turmoil.
Nelson Mandela is regarded the world over as one of history’s most inspirational figures. In every language and every country, Mandela’s legacy shines as a beacon of hope and healing, and as a potent reminder of the power of the human spirit to overcome impossible odds.
Nelson Mandela often said that the gift of his time in prison, was the ability to go within to think, to create within himself the things he most wanted for South Africa: peace, reconciliation, and harmony. Through this act of open heartedness, he was to become the embodiment of Ubuntu.
How we as individuals choose these ideas speaks directly to what we bring to our world. ‘Ubuntu.’ (There is no wrong way to pronounce it because the differences in how we say it is part of what makes Ubuntu Ubuntu.) “I am because you are.”
Like Mandela, we have been isolated, locked down in a prison of our own: alone, lonely, worried, anxious, depressed, fearful. We were not able to celebrate special occasions, important milestones passing without meaning; weddings and even funerals. However, hopefully we have also learned to appreciate the little things in life and learn life's big lessons.
Doc Rivers, coach of the Boston Celtics was introduced to the concept of Ubuntu and it became his rallying call. Recently, Rivers brought the concept to the Los Angeles Clippers. “Ubuntu works in life. It works for everybody. It doesn’t have to be just basketball,” says Rivers. “It’s about being resilient and sharing the joy with your teammate when he’s doing well and feeling the pain when your teammate is feeling bad.”
The New Year
We know that happy, healthy people owe some part of their well- being to optimism and positive thinking. The New Year is an annual ritual that encourages us to alter our mindsets, to believe that we can change, that we can become better versions of ourselves.
Every resolution we make implies that we are in control, that we are not victims fated by circumstance; but we have the power to choose to make our lives better.
To quote Eleanor Roosevelt:
“As I walked out my door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.” --Nelson Mandela
What are we NOT leaving behind?
And Here’s to 2021!