Responsibility and Happiness

Happy Friday, All!

Today, I won’t hesitate to say T.G.I.F. and for all the wonderful things that this season brings!

Yesterday was World Aids Day and there were a lot of acknowledgements to this event as well as the circumstances surrounding this formally fatal disease. Through research and contributions, cures have been found and methods to prevent its spread have been discovered and implemented. Yet, there are still millions and millions of children as well as adults “worldwide” who suffer from this debilitating illness. In my past, I have encountered those who lost their lives to this illness before treatment was found …. May they Rest In Peace.

This is the last month in the year 2011 and I must admit that I am very grateful to still be alive and able to contribute in a positive way, though small ways, to the on going culture of humanity. Next week, I will be presenting a workshop at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center on Sistrunk Boulevard here in the FTL. We are expecting several hundred high school students that Ms. Patricia Lesesne has been working with and has organized to allow me to introduce my book, From the Projects to Princeton, and a workshop focusing on Embracing Diversity, Stop the Violence and Overcoming Obstacles, to this group and program called “Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders” from the Broward County School Board. I am not only excited but privileged and honored with this opportunity.

Christmas was always a “season” that I embraced not only because of the story of Baby Jesus and his birth but the message behind it as well. Coming from humble beginnings myself and having been blessed with tender, loving parents, I hold the fondest of memories. One I’d like to mention were the trips from New York to Tampa, Florida by Amtrak train that my parents gave to me a few times as a Christmas present since they and my other siblings were driving in one of Dad’s old school Cadillacs – two tone pink, if I remember correctly. Well, one of my sisters and I had the time of our lives – at least I did – riding on the train, stopping picking up passengers from city to city along the Eastern Seaboard, dining, sleeping, meeting other kids, playing and having a blast …. all the way there …. and all the way back! My parents were very responsible in providing me with my earliest memories of happiness. Now, as I look back and thank them for that, I have a better idea today of how to be both responsible and happy ….

Last night, I set up my miniature tree with a string of lights around it in my modest bachelor’s flat to start off the season of “love and peace” that we celebrate called Christmas.

Today, help me be responsible for what I feel and do, dear Creator, of the Heavens and the Earth!

Peace be with you!

John I. Cook, Director

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