The year 2016 started out with a great deal of promise. Before we lament, we must still be thankful for all that happened last year.
After all, we were blessed with our family members, some economic gains and as our elders always say, a reasonable portion of health and strength.
Regarding that last part about a reasonable portion of health and strength, when I was younger, I never really took my health seriously. Maybe I thought I’d always be able to run, to jump and to be physically fit.
Well as Lee Corso of the ESPN Game Day Show always says, “Not so fast my friends.” It appears as though one of my adversaries has finally caught up with me.
I thought that I could allude him, possibly hide from him. Maybe I thought I could talk my way out of his clutches but it didn’t work. In fact, nothing I tried worked. You are probably wondering who has been chasing me.
Well, if you are a baby boomer like me, he has been chasing you too. His name is Father Time.
This guy is relentless in his pursuit of us. For example, I volunteer at a local school and there are some stairs for me to climb before I reach my classroom.
First off, I have to get both physically and mentally prepared to climb these stairs. As I am climbing the stairs, huffing and puffing, young boys and girls are climbing these stairs taking two and three stairs at a time. They speak to me cheerfully. I can only nod as I have no wind to even say what’s up.
A dear friend of mine and I were talking the other day and we both agreed that Father Time has never lost a battle. He always wins. He doesn’t go into overtime. He beats you in regulation.
If you are younger, give the good Lord blessings each day for keeping you in reasonably good health.
The year 2016 was filled with a lot of heartache and heartbreak. In our communities of color, too many brothers and sisters lost their lives to senseless gun violence. For too much of it, we only had ourselves to blame.
I do hope that advocacy groups with us in mind tell us to stop the shootings and killings. Let us talk about it, not shoot or kill about it. Babies and teenagers killed. Neither of whom will live out their full potential.
We went into 2016 knowing that it was President Barack Obama’s last year in office but thinking also that Hillary Clinton would be the next president of the United States of America.
We were looking ahead with great optimism. Some of us were already planning to attend her inauguration. She would be the first woman to be our nation’s leader. We could see it. What could stop us? Our tuxedos and gowns were ready to be worn. Our hair styles were going to be neat and trim.
But wait, hold on! In our enthusiasm and excitement about what was going to be in November 2016, we neglected to look around the corner. For around the corner lurked a guy who coined the phrase “Make America great again.” Many of us asked, what you talkin’ ’bout Willis?
So over time, hate, maliciousness, racism and sexism permeated our country’s landscape. Groups and individuals we once thought were dead came back to life.
So you and I know how the story ends. There will be a new president and it won’t be Hillary Clinton. So we will leave it at that.
Like many of you, I was in church New Year’s Eve. Our pastor gave a sermon entitled “Let it go.” He said do not bring the struggles of 2016 into 2017. The year 2016 is over so stick a fork in it because it is done.
My pastor said, “The same God that blessed you in 2016 will bless you in 2017”. We cannot lean on our own understanding. What is happening today in America is happening for a reason. However right now we cannot see it.
It is safe to say that we had our ups and downs in 2016. We made some mistakes and some missteps in 2016 but we cannot make the same mistakes in 2017.
For example, if there is a community meeting to attend, we must attend. If there is a conference involving our children or our grandchildren, we must show up. If our jobs require us to be there at a certain time, we must show up ahead of time.
If we want things to change in 2017, we must do things differently.
Let us be excited about our future in 2017. Some years ago, McFadden and Whitehead sang, “Ain’t no stopping us now, we’re on the move.”
Let’s be on the move in 2017.