It recently occurred to me that we have moments in time throughout the year when we can reflect. Sometimes it has to do with remembering the past, other times it is part of the present and often it is a reminder of how far we have come in humanity. The various celebrations and holidays scattered through the different seasons are moments when we take a break from life. Each one has a significant impact on our thinking and causes us to pause…. We, as a collective, shift from the daily experiences that may be joyful and happy or filled with drama and chaos. Either way, we seem to have an innate desire to put it all aside.
Starting with January, we ring in the new year. We wish each other a Happy New Year with wishes for joy, peace, and success in our new year’s resolutions. We reflect on last year and what we intend for the coming year.
“It’s time to unfold new pages and start a new chapter in your life because it’s a New Year!”
January 21st, Martin Luther King Day, is a remembering of the forward advance of how humans treat each other. We can reflect on how we treat others and recognizing if it is always in kindness and with the intention for good. If we remember who we are as living beings with a purpose, to be of the light, then we can learn from the past to secure a better future.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
–Martin Luther King
February 14th is Valentine’s Day and the month of love. Lots of red, hearts, roses and connection with our loved one. During this time, we reflect on our relationships. If we are in a healthy relationship, we are thankful and celebrate. If we have had a bad relationship, we may be thankful it is over and envision uniting with our true love.
You don’t need someone to complete you. You only need someone to accept you completely.
February 18th, President’s Day, is a time for us to consider America’s founding fathers and celebrate all president’s past and present. This day is viewed as a time of patriotic celebration and remembrance. In today’s environment, it is important to reflect on who we are as individuals in a country founded on the concept of freedom.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
May 27th, Memorial Day, is a celebration of honor for those who died in all of America’s wars. When we celebrate this day, we often reflect inwardly on gratitude for the sacrifice of the lives of the men and women who dedicate themselves to be of service. There is an interwoven mix of sadness and appreciation that gives strength to continue the journey of our quest for world peace.
Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.
–President Ronald Reagan
July 4th, Independence Day, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. This day marks a rare turning point in human history in the founding of a nation on the principle of human freedom. In July of 1776, at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 56 men pledged “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to that ideal.
We hold these truths to be self-evident,” they wrote: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
September 2nd, Labor Day, pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. This day is an opportunity to reflect on work/life balance and the efforts of those in the past who organized and petitioned to create better working hours and fewer work days. It was realized that when we have downtime from work, we can enjoy our family and friends, supporting economic vitality through extracurricular activity.
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
October 14th, Columbus Day, commemorates the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492. We can reflect on this day about our innate need to explore and our dreams of opportunities yet to be discovered.
You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
November 11th, Veteran’s Day, held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11) to honor US veterans and victims of all wars. This day is to thank veterans for their services to the United States, both past and present. We celebrate and reflect on the many men and women who bring honor to helping keep our country safe and our freedom intact.
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.
November, Thanksgiving Day, commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. This holiday is rich in legend and symbolism, bringing people and families together for a day of reflection. We spend the day feasting and being thankful for what life give us in the form of love, food, friendships, and so much more. Thanksgiving symbolizes the first feast in a new frontier where survival was of the utmost importance, giving hope and inspiration for a productive and successful future.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
In the bigger picture of a year in transition, it seems humanity has an undercurrent. This is evident by the awareness of how each of these days of reflection brings us closer to our heart, for just one day, each one scattered throughout the year. As we go from the New Year, into our daily lives, then stop to remember or celebrate and reflect, back to our daily lives and back again to a moment of silence, this journey threads the deeper parts of us weaving into a tapestry the meaning of life. It is about our desire for peace and freedom, for abundance and togetherness, for living life to the fullest.
Without these stops along the way, we could lose sight of why we are even here. As you travel into this next year, and when the moment arrives to reflect, take some time to truly grasp why we, as a country, have created these opportunities. Not only can you embrace the significance of giving thanks and gratitude, but you can continue to hold onto the reflection every day.
I can only hope and wish that someday, in the near future, we as humans, will find a way to bring to fruition the ability to live in harmony with each other. To explore new frontiers as one unit and live together in a way that uplifts, inspires and encourages.