Some Choice

Vegetable pickers loading onto a truck.

Vegetable pickers loading onto a truck, circa 1939.

We have no choice of what color we’re born or who our parents are or whether we’re rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we’re here. – Mildred Taylor

A newly arrived immigrant family on Ellis Island, gazing across the bay at the Statue of Liberty.

A newly arrived family on Ellis Island, gazing across the bay at the Statue of Liberty.

So many have come before us — pockets filled with little more than a dream. Armed with great ideas and instilled with the desire to achieve, they worked. Many toiled through days of limitation with few good choices. Regardless of the circumstances that stymied their efforts or capped their achievements they continued on — believing and hoping — heads bowed, prayers floating heavenward. We embody those hopes and dreams. We are the answer to those prayers.

I will live life courageously and encourage others to do the same. I will not put limitations on myself or others because of their color or social standing. This is my choice. What’s yours?

Photo 1: Farm Security Administration

Photo 2: National Park Service

Resolutions or here we go again

New Year’s resolutions made the national news tonight. It seems 40 percent of us make them. The most popular resolutions are to “lose weight” or “exercise more.” On average, according to a fitness instructor, we’re gung ho about exercise for eight weeks. Some actually endure til March. Side Leg Raise 4

My personal new year begins with my birthday — in April. While everyone is gearing down in March, I am revving up. My wisdom is I am not going to let another year catch me short of reaching the previous year’s goals. Did I say short of reaching? How about miles away from reaching? Every April I give myself 12 months to reach those goals. By the following March, I always feel guilty and realize I need to get going — only 45 or so days left. I do believe in miracles but really? God does expect me to do my part.

To all my neighbors in this global village, may I say, go easy on yourselves. The light of each dawn, whether seen or just felt, beckons us to start anew. The opportunity to do better, reach higher, love deeper resides in the heart — all easily accessible at any time of year.