CERDAFIED - Gratitude is powerful and healing. It keeps us present and in the moment. A hard concept to grasp in our busy lives. The Smallest things seem to mean more because we allow ourselves time to appreciate it. Gratitude knows no boundaries. It seeps into finest cracks. It does not rely on gifts or grand gestures. Just a moment to focus on those you love and those who love you back. Even to take notice of how alike we are to others.
You may be grateful for the elders in your family who with great pain seeks you out to hear about your day. Or pause to appreciate the neighbor’s jovial wave, like clock work that starts your day. It may be that you take pleasure in the sound of a laugh you’ve heard many times, but are grateful you heard it today.
Though the world may be in chaos, don’t cheat yourself of its gifts. Be thankful for all those givers of the world, those tender hearts and souls who serve others and you. Be ever mindful of the sacrifices we witness through out the Neighborhood Council System, the non-profits, and many organizations who strive to leave the world a better place.
Stop to offer a helping hand, so that gratitude may spread. Thank others for the smallest task, even if it wasn’t for you. Be genuine, and slow your pace, and lend time to friends you’ve missed. Appreciate the talents of others. Let them know how wonderful you think they are, and share their gifts with others.
With that thought in mind, let me share with you a touching poem by my loving sister, Tina Armendariz. She is blessed with talent and she teaches my spirit, and I am grateful.
Today I walked a solemn path, no light to guide my feet.
The reality of the aftermath, provided no haven nor retreat.
I could not grasp all I had seen, war is but a blunder.
The damage done was far too bleak, as I shook beneath its thunder.
The lovely world I once dreamed of, has all but been smeared,
And in its place, were ravaged souls, whose hope had disappeared.
I could not fathom, nor believe, the depth that men would go.
To fill their plates so greedily, and watch the impoverished grow.
The destructive nature is of man not beast, to thrash upon its bed,
Has left no moral compass, upon which to rest their head.
Once I scornfully laughed, at these fools who could not see,
I trusted they would meet their fate, without it harming me.
I thought if I had stayed my course, and walked on moral ground,
Then the sins of others couldn't taint, the love that's all around.
But it was I, who was blind, by my fool’s paradise.
Wholly believing that I, was but a powerless device.
I never considered it was, the remotest possibility
That the sin’s of man was, equally my responsibility.
It was a burden I did not ask for, nor plight I did not own.
The weight of others suffering, were for those upon the throne.
I had embraced my humble existence, it was a perfect little bubble.
If I inflict no harm, then I'll be safe, not looking for any trouble.
How naive was I to close my eyes, how cowardly benign
Now I walk amongst the aftermath, that today has become mine.
Peace is for everyone! Happy Holiday.
(Lisa Cerda is a contributor to CityWatch, a community activist, Chair of Tarzana Residents Against Poorly Planned Development, VP of Community Rights Foundation of LA, Tarzana Property Owners Association board member, and former Tarzana Neighborhood Council board member.) –cw