As 2009 begins, I believe that we have reason to celebrate. We have been to hell and back and have survived. My mother was always fond of saying, "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger." I have seen the wisdom of her words and indeed do feel stronger today. The last year was full of emotions, a roller coaster ride I am not eager to jump on again. Nonetheless, the fact that we are still standing, makes me confident that we are survivors and we have reason to hope!
As we enter 2009, with all of its challenges, I am more determined than ever to help others in voicing their dreams, realizing their worth, and in taking action. I have been energized and stimulated by the masses of people who celebrated the change we are embracing. We seem to have regained optimism and renewed our sense of hope in America.
As the new year emerges, we can look back and see that on November 4, 2008, over 57 million Americans made their voices heard. Americans lined up, said that they were ready for change, and elected Barrack Obama as President. Overnight, we regained the respect of the world and stood as a united force. Together, we can face the challenge and transition into a more inclusive and caring society.
Despite our concerns and worries, we can now look forward to a brighter new year. If 57 million Americans were willing to stand in long lines to vote and to make their voices heard, I am convinced that many million more stayed at home with dreams and hopes unheard. I am anxious to hear these unspoken dreams and hopes in 2009. I am going to make a concerted effort to encourage those who are often overlooked and ignored to voice their dreams and hopes. I will encourage them to acknowledge their strengths, to connect with others and to walk toward peace and understanding.
I was recently reminded of a song that is very significant for me. I heard it sung during the the Kennedy Center Honors televised program in tribute to Barbara Streisand and was nearly moved to tears. I know you have heard it. It was sung by a classmate the year I graduated from high school and has always held a special place in my heart.
Barbara Streisand made it popular and it was written by Michael Spriggs, Andy Byrd and Lindsay Ellis. The song is Somewhere. The words resonate with me more now than even then.... Here they are:
"Someday, somewhere, we'll find a new way of living, we'll find a new way of forgiving. Somewhere. There's a place for us, someday, a place for us. Peace and quiet and open air. Wait for us, somewhere. There's a time for us. Someday, there'll be a time for us. Time together with time to spare. A time to learn, a time to care. Someday, somewhere, we'll find a new way of living, we'll find a new way of forgiving. Somewhere. Somewhere. Somewhere. There's a place for us. A time and place for us. Hold my hand and we're halfway there. Just take my hand and I'll take you there. Somehow, Someday, Somewhere."
Will you take my hand? Will you walk with me into 2009 and work with me toward a new way of living? Will we find a new way of forgiving? Is there time for sharing and a time for caring? I hope so!
Together, we can fill the potholes found along the road of life with Hope and make the future brighter for us all. Together, hand in hand, we are halfway there. What are you waiting for?