I always enjoy our holiday newsletter as we break from the legal topics and communicate something that is important to us.
I will admit I am an “open book” or a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of person, so I’m usually not hard to figure out, but this newsletter gives me a chance to share what makes me tick as we move into this holiday season.
Whatever holiday you celebrate, most of the celebrations during this season have some measure of hope built into the core of them. There may be a hope for a better tomorrow; hope that 2021 will be better than 2020; hope that my resolutions will last longer than February; or a hope of happiness and prosperity for the New Year.
Hope comes in many different flavors, but I think it is critical for us to never lose sight of the power of hope in our lives. We can never lose hope, and we must always celebrate hope.
Hope Has Always Been Real for Me
As a small-town kid growing up with a dad who was a teacher/coach and a stay-at-home mom, we learned to get by on simple things in life. Thinking back, I chuckle at what we would do to save a nickel back in those days, but we never had a shortage of love in our house. We might have hoped for some air-conditioning on those hot summer nights as we lay there sweating or hoped for new clothes instead of hand-me-downs, but sometimes when you don’t know what you’re missing, it really isn’t all that bad. As we grew older we realized what others had in this world, and I am not afraid to say we hoped for a few material things as we grew.
We also began to hope for an opportunity with our own careers. Teacher parents are very good about building hope within the minds of their young children, and education was the building block for fulfilling that hope in our house. It is very common for one generation to always hope the next can continue to build happiness and wealth for their family but stay connected to their roots. We always had that hope as a family.
As our kids navigate their twenties, we share that hope, but I also believe our kids are hoping they can add additional depth to their lives with international experiences and so much more. I would never have dreamed one of our daughters would now be teaching in Mumbai, India, half-way around the world. We hope she can share her life experiences with her students there, as we continue to learn from her and her life in India. Eventually, results do matter, but we will always have hope in our lives and it is most critical for me.
Hope in This World
Hope has always been a part of the world. In our own country, the early settlers left England with hope for a land where they could worship freely. Immigrants have come to the U.S. for many years with a hope for a better tomorrow.
For me, the power of hope has never been as strong as it was during the Holocaust of World War II. As a Christian, I have always been amazed by the unbelievable stories of hope shown by the Jewish people during this time. The hope displayed by families; the heroic acts of courage to resist the Nazis; the hiding of Jewish children from the Nazis; and the general hope that their sacrifice might lead to freedom for others is difficult to comprehend.
I follow a Twitter feed from the Auschwitz Memorial, and every day I get the story of individuals who were listed as prisoners at the camp. Most were Jewish. Most did not survive. When they are listed on Twitter for their birthday, we remember their name to keep the hope and memory alive.
Some did survive, and oh the joy when that occasional story is shared! When you see the faces of these people, many of them children or families, you hear their story and realize what happened is very depressing. But many kept hope that they would overcome the terrible evil of the Nazi regime. If you are interested in these stories of hope, they can be found at the Auschwitz Museum site on Twitter. The stories are moving, and they are an excellent way to learn about history while providing a very realistic view of what happened.
Additionally, in June 2021, the traveling exhibit will be coming to Union Station in Kansas City. If you’re interested, you can get your tickets here. As difficult and depressing as books, movies, and general communication about the Holocaust can be for the average person, the hope that survived with the Jewish people during a time that is very difficult to comprehend and imagine is inspiring. Somehow, some way, they kept the hope alive until they were free.
Hope for Your Holiday Season
This year has been difficult for many families. We see it up close with client family members who share stories of loved ones being shut-in to their long-term care facilities away from family. Even as bad as 2020 has been, we must celebrate hope for tomorrow.
Whatever your burden from this year, whatever your current pains and troubles, we cannot give up hope for a better tomorrow. We must celebrate hope.
As a Christian, I am not afraid to say where my hope lies for the future. I celebrate this hope every year with the birth of Jesus, and I will celebrate his birth again this year. I don’t share this to preach my religion. I share this because my faith is a core part of my hope for tomorrow. Whatever your religion, whatever your beliefs, and wherever you are in your life, I wish you the strength to celebrate hope this year. We can never lose hope, regardless of how dark the days may be. We always must have hope.
If we can help you in any way to restore your hope, to find some joy to help you strengthen your hope for tomorrow, or just to celebrate hope together with you, then please feel free to give us a call.
We will always celebrate hope in our lives. We know there will be sunny days and cloudy days, but we will always celebrate hope.
I hope you and your family will be able to celebrate hope this holiday season. And just as importantly, I hope you will reach out to others and help them celebrate hope in their own lives.
I wish PEACE to you and your family during this holiday season.