“Imani” (Faith) – The Seventh Principle of Kwanzaa

always keep faith

Happy Monday, All!

Wow!! Now if that’s not a way to end a year … and start a new one, I don’t know what is?!! Many many festivities from the traditional count down of the dropping of the ball in Times Square in New York to Pitbull’s “Takeover” of the Miami New Year’s celebration including the “Raising of the Orange”! Happy New Year to each and every one of you. Well, I was glad to see so many folks taking time to be with their families and friends and actually enjoying the holy days. While each group, be it Christian, Jewish or African American celebrating Kwanzaa, has their own sets of rituals, beliefs and symbols associated, the values embedded in each group’s philosophy are often very spiritual … and universal.

On New Year’s Eve, I attended a Buddhist celebration and learned a lot more about myself … and others as we seek our own happiness in this world. One of the main lessons was that “the best happiness one can have is wishing others to be happy”! Imagine that! Some of us often fight against that spiritual truth. If you are a person who is seeking to change ones OWN condition, know that it can only be done with faith in yourself. Conditions and circumstances change very often, especially in the affairs of the world today. Upon the New Year, I had some challenges, as we didn’t work four days – Christmas Day and the day after nor New Year’s Day and the day after. Unfortunately, our hourly pay was NOT given for these days off. Once again, I had to ask for help. One person, Don Rafa, called me out of the blue after I had spoken with another friend, Bobby Schulman, and asked how things were. When I told him, both he and Bobby agreed to help out! I just kept the faith that things would be alright … and they are turning out to be that way. Even my sister Edna sent a small gift that helped out, too. Keep the faith … don’t let nobody turn you around.

It is a new year, and me and EE are looking for new ways to grow. I was listening to a news announcement about the Clinton Foundation’s fund raising efforts, and, I heard a story about a woman whose home is in foreclosure ($13k) and they are both seeking to get donations!! In this new year, I would like to take Educational Excellence to the next level. Vetalle Fusilier had given me some ideas of fund raising letters last year and as the year begins, I remain open to positive suggestions on how to grow Educational Excellence and touch even more lives with positive messages. It is easy to tell someone that “they” can’t do something than it is to give them a concrete idea of how they could be successful at doing something. Carry on!


John I. Cook

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