By: Victoria G. Smith
I bless you, and you bless me:
this is as it should be.
Families aren’t made by accident
of birth, but by designs of the heart.
Were we transient passengers
in this journey, it would suffice
that we travel as ships passing each
other in the night, yet we’re a symphony
of souls—an orchestra of heartstrings
colliding in perfect harmony,
playing the music of the gods.
Poet’s Notes. It is yet again another new year. Our defeats and losses as honorable Americans, immigrants, and refugees stare us down as our new Congress’ first act was to attempt to demolish the independent congressional ethics committee charged with investigating their malfeasances. True, the president-elect tweeted against it, thus bringing pressure to bear down on such brazenly shameless move on the part of the Republican-led legislature, but one could not help but wonder how far this seeming show of integrity and leadership would go when Trump’s own interests are at stake, for his past actions and words likewise do not bode well for the country. It is the same for my native country as Duterte continues to prove he is just another macho-talking populist tyrant—the Philippine counterpart of Trump. My heart is rent with the thought of the deaths of almost six thousand of my people that have been brought about by the current Philippine president’s unenlightened policies.
Yet, I have resolved to cease to react to each and every feckless word and act of both my American and Philippine presidents (for they are far too many!), and have retreated into the attitude of resignation to what I cannot control, to focus on where I trust I still have some real influence. Not the least among the latter is my circle of family and friends. I invite all to do the same. Nurturing, educating, and counseling one another into being persons of integrity and principle not only for our self-interests but for the long-term greater good of humanity and our natural environment is our best weapon against the ignorant and dishonorable.
It takes courage to take a stand, especially among our intimate connections. Recently, I have had to reflect on how to communicate to a friend how I’ve been disappointed by her actions, or more accurately, her acts of omission. Her negligence. It takes courage to speak one’s truth, while choosing to offer unconditional love for the person who has wronged you—to resolve that if there’s a break in the friendship, it would not be because of you, but by how the other chooses to react to your act of integrity. In this, we see that our encounters could be either a blessing or curse to each of us. May we all choose to bless others with our presence in their lives. And may this count among our resolutions for 2017.
(All rights reserved. Copyright © 2017 by Victoria G. Smith. For updates on her author events & publications, go to VictoriaGSmith.com. “Like” her on Facebook at Author Victoria G. Smith. “Follow” her on Twitter @AuthorVGSmith)