Archive for December, 2009
I truly appreciate the security precautions that exist, especially with regards to terrorism. That word alone was not in my vocabulary growing up and it can be hard to fathom this is the world we live in now. However, knowing that there are many in the world who work to protect our freedom and our security is a welcome relief to the fear.
The one issue that I have had in recent years is the reactive nature we have. Every time a terrorist does something on an airplane, TSA mandates rules and regulations to combat the very thing that almost happened. Reactive. So far, I have not seen that the terrorists repeat themselves very often, at least from what we hear. Each time an attack has been thwarted, it has been a novel way. I don’t applaud this. I am in fact terrified each time something happens and it is something not tried before. Again, that I am aware of. And again, TSA reacts today indicating that on international flights, no one get up for anything the last hour. If a plane has to circle due to heavy traffic or other reasons, how would this be regulated?
I realize that much happens that is not talked about. That many planned attacks are stopped before they come to fruition. I am truly thankful for the talents of others who do this and am not criticizing this. What I ask is how we can be more proactive? How can we look at ways to prevent terrorists? In this recent instance, the underwear bomber’s father called the US Embassy in Yemen and warned them about his son. This information was ignored despite his son having a US Visa. Despite his purchase of a $3000 plane ticket in cash. Despite his boarding a plane without checking any luggage. Instead he was put on a list and not the no-fly list either. This was preventable.
I wish everyone a happy holiday filled with laughs and love. Anissa
Despite the hectic and frenzied race to the mall by some or the type budgets of others (or all from my perspective), I truly like this time of year for a few reasons. Some are more meaningful than others, but when I take them all together, my heart sings with happiness.
- Community – there is just so much togetherness in the community. So many opportunities to share, spend time with our families and friends, and be loving. This is not an isolated feeling that only comes around at this time. But I do feel it more amplified than I would normally feel all year long. It is a time when most of us can just stop on a day of our choosing. It may be Christmas or it may be another day for those that work on that day (nurses, police officers, firefighters, etc.). The day selected is not important, but the honoring of the day is. I feel the warmth of caring from so many as everyone takes that extra moment to share their hearts.
- Gratitude – this is probably relative to community. However, the gratitude and appreciation that comes from giving to a charity, a friend, or a family member is such a lovely feeling. We all feel so grateful what life has brought us, no matter the circumstances we currently find ourselves, and want to share this with those that have helped us make our life work. We do this throughout the year; this I believe. But I also believe that this extra moment of togetherness really lets this feeling shine through.
- Cartoons – ok, this one probably make you take a second look. Or even wonder if I was serious. But I am. There are so many holiday cartoons that express the meaning of Christmas, the meaning of giving to others. I cannot be thankful every time I see them. It is my annual tradition and could not imagine a holiday without Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolph, and many others. I am sure kids today find them dated and old-fashioned, but they bring me smiles. And I can’t go without Miracle on 34th Street (the original, black and white version). All of these have the ability to make me cry (Frosty especially), even after all these years!
- Snow – as you can tell from the cartoons, I am still a little kid at heart. I still wish for a white Christmas. And every time the weather person calls for snow, I am giddy with excitement. Just plain giddy. I never get tired of it. I never wish for the spring. I want the snow each every time it’s predicted. I love the white noise, the sledding, and most of all, seeing snowmen in the front yards of my neighbor’s yards. I believe there is magic in snow (there’s that Frosty theme again) and can watch it fall for hours, as if it were movie that lasted for hours. It captivates me.
But more than anything all, I like this time of year because of the love and caring of the world. There is so much to be thankful for and so much to appreciate. And after giving thanks at Thanksgiving, Christmas carries this message even further. There have been times that I have just smiled to myself and said “I’m happy”. I hope you can say the same!
This can be such a lovely time of year. It can also be a tough one. It is very hard for me to hear stories that show the sadness of what the economy has done. I was horrified to hear about the person who posted on Craigslist and when the persons came to pick up what they had purchased, they decided to rob the seller instead. I understand we are all having a hard time. I know I have been and using every penny I find in the car or couch is not an understatement. But I find hurting others like this, who are no better off than you, is hard for me to stomach.
But I have seen other acts of kindness that make my heart warm again. A colleague at work collects toys and clothes for Project Homeless Connect here in Omaha. He will have a big togetherness for all in the Civic Auditorium and bring much happiness and joy to so many. This is an incredibly selfless act and makes me truly appreciate the human spirit. We have done much in my workplace for the food bank when so many more this year are hurting and just want to have a meal.
I think there many of us doing all we can. The only challenge is that many of us are hurting in our own ways too. I see so many people trying to sell personal items to make some extra money to buy food, pay bills, let alone get a little something for their kids. I know that I have personally feel like I am coasting on fumes until the first business day of the New Year, or payday. Once a month paydays are very tough for me after all the bills are paid in the first week, especially when I want to give money to all the pet charities, the bell ringers, the Food Bank, the shelters, and. Well I could go on. I have a stack of mail from needy charities and I want to give to every single one. I hope the new year brings many things to all. But more than anything, I hope it brings peace of mind and heart to each and every one of us.