Tag Archives: unity

Begin Within

Do you hear that? The silence.
Do you see that? The dark.
Those glances, so scolding.
Cold whispers leave marks.

Do I know you? No name.
Have I wronged you? You reach.
All I ask is conversation and
practice what you preach.

Divisions bleed existence
Is this what you seek?
Life drained from society
Hatred on a constant leak.

You matter. I matter.
We fight while they fear.
Constant anger and confusions
As nighttime draws near.

Words unheard.
Do you hear me?
Protest and hashtags.
Do you see?

Where to start, to begin?
Look inside.
Begin within.

#BeginWithin
#BeTheChange

By: Tracy Solomon

America’s best days are ahead

"Sea to Shining Sea"
Photo by: dgroup

In our homes, our neighborhood schools, local businesses, communities and across our nation there have been conversations about the need for improvements in many areas of day to day life and the future of America.

Although when traveling through American cities or the rural communities which link our nation together, things may appear at first glance to be different, most Americans have the same basic needs in life and many share the same values and goals; family, home and having a better future for their children.

However, it’s not the differences within these communities that bring the divide to the nation. The diversity of cultures, religions and race have made America a nation that stands out unlike every other country in the world. These differences however can also be used as a tool to bring weakness and divide.

Many issues our country continues to face have come about through history and in instances, such as slavery, laws have been enacted after many lives were lost and many injustices were carried out but also heroes came to the forefront of our American culture to show that good can triumph over evil if people are willing to get involved and stand up for what is right even when it may not be popular or have anything to gain for them personally or may possibly bring them physical harm even costing their life.

Through history, lessons can be learned and the worst possible thing to do would be to revert back to old ways or act as though they never happened.

History should never have to repeat itself to prove wrong doesn’t make right and to again show one human is not above another human, not by race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or economic standing.

Instead, as American and World History are taught in our schools, it should include the fact these lessons in history can and should be what makes America a stronger nation and each culture and religion represented in America should be the ties that bind us as an even greater, more unique nation of the future with goals that represent our strengths and ambitions and look out for the humanity of everyone across our nation.

On Saturday, January 8th our nation suffered a tremendous tragedy in Tucson, Arizona when a 22 year old man opened fire at a shopping center, shooting a U.S. Representative, a Federal Judge, and 9 year old girl as well as countless others in a few short moments. In the end, 20 people were shot and 6 lost their lives including one of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ aides, Gabe Zimmerman, Federal Judge – John Roll, Dorwan Stoddard – who used his body to shield his wife from being killed, Dorothy Morris – who was there with her husband of 55 years, also shot but survived, Phyllis Schneck – a loving mother and grandmother who loved her community, and Christina Green – a 9 year old who wanted to meet her Congresswoman and someday participate in Government.

The news of this horrific event ripped through the media on TV, radio, online social media, etc. causing a great deal of grief, confusion, anger, unity, memories, panic, just so many different emotions.

An outpouring of prayers and wishes poured out across America for the families of the victims and those who had suffered injuries and were being rushed to nearby hospitals. So many questions were being asked but there were very few available answers.

Different news agencies were trying to gather facts and at times, there were reports coming in and then being reversed due to wrong information. There was also a great deal of information coming in that was being driven by emotion and reaction but not backed up by facts because the shooter hadn’t talked nor had enough time passed to give investigators an opportunity to put together the facts.

What happened in Tucson, Arizona is an inexcusable tragedy and by no means can be something that defines who America is but what America, as a nation, is not.

For those who used their media outlet and time before this awful event to campaign Americans against Americans will hopefully see America is a United Nation. For those who look at our nation as citizens against their government, America is a civilized democracy.

People can have different ideas, different goals and debates but as a people, Americans should be looking out for the good of one person as much as for the good of another person, one family as much as for the good of another family.

Americans should look past each other’s party, race, religion, Ethnicity and to each other’s goals, ideas, needs and future and see it as America’s future, their future.

America’s best days are ahead. It is within this great nation, our great nation to accomplish what is needed to move forward and to move ahead into the future. The idea is to work alongside each other and alongside other nations, to draw on our strengths and not focus on the weakness of others.

Our nation is made up of our people, all of our people and for America to truly be as great as it can be, our nation must unite and work together for the common goals of everyone.

As different as many may be, that is also our strength when used correctly and for the right purpose.

In the face of tragedy, unity is often seen, but everyday unity can be shown.

Examiner link

Is Obama’s faith really the issue?

During the 2008 campaign, even earlier, Obama was questioned multiple times about his religion. Now it is all over the news again as the November 2010 elections near. Is it because it is truly a concern or because it is a campaign tool?

It is true, President Obama’s father was born in Kenya, raised as a Muslim but Obama’s father had lost his faith and become a “confirmed atheist”. Later, his mother married an Indonesian man, Lolo Soetoro, a “non-practicing” Muslim. None of this makes President Obama a Muslim.

For over 20 years, Obama has professed to being a Christian and has spoken publicly of his “personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”


Video – Obama’s Christian Faith (unedited)




Anyone who comes out and makes a public statement on their religious belief and faith and then has numerous people turn around and say otherwise has just been called a liar. This is what has continuously happened time and time again, not only by individuals but by different journalist, religious leaders, radio commentators, talk show hosts and news organizations.

Also during the campaign, one of the churches Obama had attended, Trinity United Church of Christ, was the center of much controversy due to Reverend Wright and some of his sermons and statements made to the press. The issue came up whether his radicalized views would have had any effect on Obama during his time of attending Wright’s church. There were mixed reactions but the more Wright spoke out, the more negative the reactions became. After multiple statements of Wright’s were released, Obama stated,” I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit.” He went on to say “Let me repeat what I’ve said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.”

On May 31, 2008 Obama resigned his membership from the church.

U.S. presidents throughout history have chosen to attend churches in the D.C. area and during the time prior to the Obama’s arrival, churches in the area and even outsiders were eager to learn where the Obama Family might pick to choose as their place of worship.

Although Ronald Reagan did not attend church during his presidency, he had different spiritual advisors, one of which was Billy Graham. Reagan said it was a hassle for the church to set up security screening for all of its parishioners. The Clintons drove down the street every Sunday to Foundry United Methodist and Chelsea sang in the youth choir.

George W. Bush was never a regular member of any local church. He preferred to mostly worship in the chapel at Camp David, Evergreen Chapel.

At this time, President Obama has been following George W. Bush and worshiping at Evergreen Chapel as the primary place of worship with his family. After a 5 month search by Obama, White House aides, family and friends, this seems to be the best place. Due to security issues and the fact even longtime members were not able to get into their own churches because of long lines and feeling as though a person was worshiping on display was all part of the decision.

Although, it has been said, the search for a D.C. church continues.

When it comes to a person’s faith, it is a personal choice that is made by that person at a time when that person feels lead to make the decision. When asked what their religion of choice is and an answer is given, calling them a liar or questioning them seems senseless and Christianity is faith-based. For a Christian to question another person’s Christianity shows a lack of their own faith and for the Christian Community to continue to stand up and question the presidents walk with God after he has publicly said he has a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” shows a lack of faith within the Christian community. Does one Christian typically question another Christian?

To become a Christian, it doesn’t matter who your Mom is or who your Dad is. It doesn’t matter where you were born or where you were raised. It doesn’t matter what your past is or what your job is. But by faith, you can ask Christ into your heart to live within you and forgive you of your sins. It is having a personal relationship with Christ.

You see it doesn’t matter if you were Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, Islamic, Atheist or whatever. A person can always become a Christian. A Christian doesn’t have to be someone that is wearing a sign saying they are a Christian or out yelling at others that they are a Christian and someone else isn’t a Christian. That doesn’t make someone more of a Christian or a better Christian. Going to church every Sunday doesn’t make someone a better Christian. What matters is the person you are and how you are treating others and living as Christ would want you to. Being full of hate and causing others to be the same way doesn’t seem to be a very Christian thing to do.

If someone says they are a Christian, who is someone else to say they aren’t or say they are lying?

God?


Video (34 minutes unedited)



This video is very worth viewing, especially with the way things have been recently.

In 2008 Obama spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He spoke about Unity, deficit of morality, empathy deficit and about the problems with people looking too much at the differences of others and not their likenesses. He spoke about politicians and media exploiting these issues. He goes on to say in this 34 minute video to say we each carry the challenge to change this. “We can’t build ourselves up by tearing each other down.”

21 Days Makes a Habit

I used to hear that all the time growing up. If you really want to change the way you get your homework done, study for a spelling test, brush your teeth every night (really, what was so difficult about that task?), then just do the right thing for 21 days and it will stick with you.

Okay, so most people make big New Year’s Resolutions and I am not sure what is going on January 21st but maybe they are still going strong or maybe they are loosening up on the idea of what was started.

I do better with small goals or major goals. For instance, I don’t ever see myself in a marathon but possibly making posters for a marathon. I do see myself setting a goal to do 30 minutes a day on the treadmill for maybe 2 weeks, then set a goal for month, you get the picture.

So, do you remember the “Pay it Forward” Film that came out around 2000? The film had come from a book that had been written by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was about a little boy that worked on a school project that in effect touched many people’s lives one by one while in return it was also bettering the world around them. If each person decided to do one deed, small or large, whether it seemed significant to us or not but useful to the person we were helping, it would most certainly make our world much more productive, hopeful, creative, tolerant, and a place of unity. The book and film caught very quickly. Viewers and readers both were doing activities and were paying it forward. I see people doing it in different areas I follow online. A foundation was started, http://www.payitforwardfoundation.org/ to get young people in schools involved and different communities involved both nationally and internationally. When a good thing is happening, it is best to continue the movement.

How easy is it to remember something negative we see or hear? I love to hear good things and I think we all do. The fact is though is it takes us making things happen to get them done sometimes.

Some things we may not realize we do make a huge difference in the lives of others. I am going to use some personal examples there. This is about improving lives today.

Here is a few organizations/ideas that I stand behind 100%

When someone is sick and not feeling well, someone reaching out to them with a card or a letter just shows that someone that time to show love. If you know someone, it is a great expression. You can also go through your local church, assisted living facility, or if you want to make some children smile, visit http://www.makeachildsmile.org/ or http://www.hugsandhope.org/. Both are great and have many kids who can use some happy mail!

Visiting someone in the hospital can be a huge pick-me-up or bringing someone coffee while they are at the ER due to an emergency of a family member.

Sending someone snail mail! Remember that? It can come in with the only other snail mail these days, (bills).

When it comes to the saying at the top of the page, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”, I think of people that struggle through many injuries, diseases and tragedies and I am in awe of how much they pull through and each day have a smile on their face instead of bitterness.

Another major way of helping is through Blood Product Donation at your local blood bank. Having a daughter who is a cancer survivor and has been through a stem cell transplant, I am a huge advocate for educating others on the need for regular blood donation and registering as a bone marrow/stem cell donor. You can learn more about this via http://www.marrow.org/ or http://www.katiasolomonfoundation.org/

These sound easy but are often the hardest. The magic words we learned as kids. “Please” and “Thank you”. Oh, I am so bad at these!! I should make this my 21 day quest but honestly, the thought that just crossed my mind was that I would fail… positive thinking I know. They seriously make people happy and in return would improve your own day.

Lastly, I have given up on this until people agree to wear name tags, is calling people by name. I am pretty surprised but happy when people use my name but my first thought is usually, “Oh man, what is her/his name?” But it is such a nice gesture and feeling when someone knows a person’s name.

All in all, it is just a lot about showing those around us that we are thinking about them, looking out for others and making a point to put ourselves down on the list. Not that we shouldn’t look out for ourselves. But, the way things are going right now in our community, in our nation, in our world, is it really making us happy or stressed? Life isn’t about just getting through it or getting by. Life is about living and living with a purpose. Life is about being able to look back, not just at the end but during the weekends and think of moments during our week that made us smile or laugh. Some of the best ways to make ourselves happy is to make others happy. Focusing on the positives in our lives and the blessings in our lives and giving thanks for what we have been given.

When things seem so heated up around me, I remember that 10%/90% and I always try to remember to breathe. In today’s world everything goes at a high speed and it seems we must answer everything now or yesterday and our answers are being watched by everyone and must match up or we are going to be kicked out by some hall monitor or something.

I have one person I must answer to and that is God. I look around me and see that God has given me many blessings and throughout many trials in my life, He has always been there for me and I have never felt alone. I have a very personal relationship with Christ and in my 40 years, He has never failed me. So, with all of the news and debates and things that may cause confusion, with time and faith and knowing not only that God has given me the ability to have good common sense as well as the ability to pray for clarity in any decision making, I really try (and I stress the word try) to stay away from arguing. However, I never mind sharing my opinions when asked. And of course, if there is a C-Span debate going on or something, I do have red blood in my veins so yeh, I get caught up in some things but my point is watching how a person reacts. We all will never see eye to eye. Hollywood could come up with a really creepy movie about everyone in the U.S. seeing eye to eye…