I find myself in the Southern Hemisphere, celebrating Christmas in sunny South Africa.
South Africa is a diverse country with a “Rainbow” Nation and a climate that varies from region to region. Usually, the summer lasts from about December to March. In areas like Cape Town and the Western Cape, you experience dry and sunny days and tropical thunderstorms are expected throughout the rest of the country. With fuller waterholes, lush vegetation, and blooming flowers, we have many reasons to appreciate, enjoy and celebrate life.
We gather first for church service
Dressed in new clothes and feeling our best
Everything seems brighter and bigger too
The air is filled with excitement and expectancy
Knowing that presents are left under the huge Christmas tree
We’re dozens of cousins having a ball of a time playing outside
Enjoying watermelon on the hot sunny Christmas day
The end of the year is drawing closer and I’m looking forward to the holiday season, a time to celebrate and a time to rest. To me the holidays are all about celebrating the values that bring us together in life, such as our friends and family. At this time of the year, it is also necessary to recharge and to invest in yourself. I was so happy for the encouragement and the reminder in the message below reflecting “21 Days of Investing in Yourself.” I do some of the things mentioned below, but I also know that I can do so much more. I’m sharing, hoping that we will all take up the challenge to be kind to ourselves. In this way we have much more to give to others and we can make these important connections that can bring us unity through generosity, and gratitude.
Why do we need wolves? Did you know that wolves play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy? They improve habitat and increase populations of numerous species from birds of prey to pronghorn, and even trout. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, like grizzly bears. Watch this interesting YouTube video “How Wolves Change Rivers”
Wolves returning to Yellowstone National Park in the United States helped the ecosystem return to normal by doing what’s natural to them. What are we doing as human beings to help the ecosystem but also to help ourselves return to normal again? We do help in regulating the services of the ecosystem by planting more trees, maintaining a good habitat for a mixture of species and a home for a large amount of wildlife. The actions of humans have a great influence on the environment, we have a positive impact on the ecosystem but we’ve also had a negative impact. It is so important to continue the process of making everything balanced in the environment.
It is also very important to balance our physical and mental health. I know that physical exercise can reduce feelings of stress and depression and improve my mood. I’m also aware that good nutrition and getting enough sleep can improve my mood and can also reduce anxiety and stress. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines: health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The month of October has been proclaimed Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose is to educate the public about mental health but also to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with mental illness are often subjected to.
While bringing more balance into your life, contribute to a healthy ecosystem, continue to strive to become both physically and mentally healthy and always reach out in love and care.
This world is filled with intentional wrongdoing and harm and perhaps some started out unintentionally. How willing are we to rectify our wrongs, especially once we become conscious of our actions and deeds? My mind is filled with these thoughts as I read and hear people talking about evil, immoral and inhumane world-wide happenings. I was further reminded during one of our church services about our conscious and unconscious actions. With these thoughts I was forced to do some introspection, and I wondered how willing am I to correct my unconscious wrongs when I became aware of it.
I’m writing this blog as we approach our thanksgiving celebration church service. I further do introspection as to how I can do better and show gratitude. I’m especially thankful for my willingness to work on my shortcomings. Thankfully there is time to rectify the conscious wrongdoing into conscious good. The importance of appreciating others can only but make me a better person. Showing gratitude is as rewarding as receiving it. Small gestures of appreciation can make someone’s day. Alongside humbleness is kindness which is free to give and can be shared at any time. If anything, just be kind.
“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” —Michael Josephson
In South Africa, August month is declared women’s month and August the 9th is celebrated annually as National Women’s Day. National Women’s Day celebrates the strength and resilience of women and their contribution to society and country. This day in South Africa commemorates a significant day in our history. In 1956, on this day, 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against pass laws. These laws were made to control the movement of people of colour during Apartheid. Women still have to fight for their rights, we live in a world rooted in gender inequality. Achieving and promoting gender equality is a critical element of the prevention of violence against women.
My thoughts are driven towards celebrating life, perhaps because I recently celebrated a birthday. Let’s celebrate one another and in the process eradicate inequality.
Show appreciationthrough honouring and respect, congratulate…
Erase inequality and replace it with lasting fond memories, commemorate
Focus on appreciation and recognition for all that has been done, celebrate!
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