The spirit of the season is PEACE.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
The holidays are upon us. Many of us are decorating our homes, sending greeting cards, buying gifts for friends and family, and planning our holiday meals. But this year is different. With Covid-19, we won’t be celebrating the holidays quite the same way; and we may miss celebrating with our loved ones. Many have even lost loved ones this year. I know of too many families that have experienced this; and I almost did in my own family. As we take time to reflect, let’s remember the true spirit of the season. Maybe we can be a bit more kinder to each other. Reach out to those less fortunate. Find ways to spread joy. Be more intentional. We Stand Undivided is promoting our “Lend a Hand” campaign to give us opportunities to make a difference. This year, this time, our help is especially needed. Are you willing to help?
Let’s Lend a Hand…
There are so many needs in our communities. WSU wanted to bring a few opportunities for all of us to get involved…together. Here’s a list of several things we can do. I intend to do each and every one of these! If you can find it in your heart to help, your kindness and generosity will be so very much appreciated.
St. Joseph’s Villa – Helping Homeless Families
Fulfill a wish online through their Amazon Wish List. You can buy items for homeless families such as blankets, coats, household items, children’s toys, and gift cards…all from your computer! Please list “We Stand Undivided” in the receipt comments.
Chesterfield Food Bank
There is a tremendous shortage of food for many, many families in our communities. I’ve seen these long car lines that stretch over a mile! Some people get ‘in line’ up to 6 hours before distribution begins because they can’t afford to be in the back of the line when food has run out; because they are in desperate need to feed their families. Please consider donating food, money or volunteering your time to help these families in need.
They’re on the front lines EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Fighting against insurmountable odds, shouldering unrelenting burdens, dealing with patients who die in their care alone, and other patients who treat them with contempt because the patients, themselves, are in denial. Month after month, week after week, day after day — putting themselves and their families at risk. We can’t provide needed supplies, but we can show them how much we appreciate them and their sacrifice. Drop off or send some food as a way to say “thank you” to a local hospital’s Covid-19 unit. Wear a mask, and practice physical distancing to keep yourself and those around you safe.
K.I.N.D. (Kids in Need of Desks)
I donate to this cause every single year! In Malawi, around 65 percent of students do not have a desk or chair. The Kids in Need of Desks (K.I.N.D.) campaign, launched by the UNICEF USA and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, aims to change that by delivering desks to hundreds of schools. K.I.N.D. also provides secondary school scholarships to Malawian girls most in danger of missing out on an education.
I hope that you will consider making a donation to any…or all of these causes, as I intend to do. If you don’t live in the metro Richmond area, please give to those in need closest to you. Also, please send us a note to let us know what you did so we can keep track of how we’re all helping in our communities!
I recently attended a webinar by Vital Smart entitled “A Path to Peace in 2021.” They talked about six different Peace Principles, that if all of us used them, could radically change things and add more peace in the world for the coming new year. A lofty goal for sure, but I intend to focus on a few of these principles. Perhaps you’d also like to apply one or two…or more to your life.:-)
Peace Principle # 1: Before talking about the ‘what,’ agree on the ‘why’ and ‘how.’ For example, instead of allowing someone with differing views to go on and on, get an agreement with them that you’ll listen to them for 10 minutes (uninterrupted), and then they must do the same for you. This will allow for mutual connection.
Peace Principle #2: Setting and holding boundaries is the foundation of peace. Interacting on social media can feel like walking through a landmine. Decide what you will/won’t do. For example, decide that you will not post or share anything that will drive people apart.
Peace Principle #3: Take a pause. Respectful dialogue starts with calmness & clarity. Don’t respond immediately when you’ve been triggered by something someone has said or posted. Social media algorithms are designed to send you information for a reaction. Be careful about being drawn into these debates.
Peace Principle #4: Validate 1st; ask for permission 2nd — before sharing your opinion, ask if they are open. You won’t be heard if your opinion is unwelcome. We have a habit of not respecting people we don’t agree with. That’s when we look for things to differentiate ourselves because we can’t allow ourselves to be like someone we don’t respect or like.
Peace Principle #5: Discover respect for people by looking for commonality, not emphasizing difference. Find what makes you similar and connect through that.
Peace Principle #6: Before you react, assess your long-term motive. Ask, “What’s my goal for saying or posting this? And, am I likely to reach my goal by making the statement in that way?
WSU Movies that MOVE Me!
Join We Stand Undivided for our monthly movie showcasing a film, and brief follow-up discussion! We’ll watch movies about people of different backgrounds, races, cultures, religions, nationalities, etc. These movies will educate us, inspire us and move us closer to seeing our common humanity.
December’s movie, The Human Family Tree, is a “must see”! We are all 99.9% genetically identical. “On the most diverse street in the most diverse city in the most diverse country in the world, a team of National Geographic scientists swab the cheeks of some 200 random New Yorkers-hoping to reveal clues about our ancestral footprints and prove we are all cousins in the “family of man.” Join geneticist Spencer Wells and a team from National Geographic’s Genographic Project as they trace the human journey through time, from our origins in the heart of Africa to the ends of the world. Cutting edge science, coupled with a cast of New Yorkers-each with their own unique genetic history-helps paint a picture of these amazing journeys. The Human Family Tree answers some of humanity’s most burning questions-who we are and where we come from-and forces us to change how we think not only about our relationships with our neighbors, but ourselves.
Link to trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKyvE7h8BxY
Link to film if you want to watch before Sunday: https://archive.org/details/TheHumanFamilyTree-2009
Join Here on Dec. 27th:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 659 887 6518
Best wishes for a healthy, happy and safe Holiday Season!