Some have made much of the fact that the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12thyear of this century is auspicious and as a result reserved for special celebrations like weddings. Others see it as just a precursor to yet another date later this month 12/21/12 when, according to Aztec legend, the world will end. No matter what your predisposition, one thing is true and that is that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring and so it is best to make the most of today!
At Hillsides we hope that tomorrow will bring a brighter future for the children, youth, and families we serve, and in the meantime, we are committed to doing everything we can today to assure that brighter tomorrow. It’s not a bad way to conduct our work and our lives.
This advice given to those we serve could also apply to our legislators, paralyzed in a tortuous kabuki drama these days, who put off for tomorrow what can be accomplished today. The decisions made today may not be popular, but at least it will provide some clarity as we adjust to a new reality that hopefully will assure a brighter future for us all.
The medicine can be hard to swallow. Often in addressing the needs of children and youth, who have suffered much hardship and disappointment, it seems almost unconscionable to revisit a painful situation. But unless the demons are stared down, they run the risk of capturing our lives. The process is painful, but the rewards can be very gratifying. This is true not only for those we serve, but it is also true in our own lives, in our families, community, and nation.
For those we serve, we remind them that the challenges need not be taken on alone. We are here ready to serve as a resource for them. It is this sense of partnership that allows them to address hardships and become hopeful once again.
Recently, I met with a young man in our young adult transitional housing and services program. His infectious smile would lead you to believe that he is relatively carefree, but the truth is that he has earned that great smile by working hard to overcome challenges. We accompany him on this arduous journey and smile along with him for his accomplishments and the future that he is building for himself.
At this time of year, no matter how challenging things get, we at Hillsides benefit from the generous support that we receive from the community as we labor against all odds to make this holiday season memorable for those we serve. Together challenges are confronted, obstacles are overcome, and a brighter future is assured.
I hope 12/21/12 will mark not an end, but rather a beginning, one that is characterized by the triumph of good will to address challenges and the resolve to assure a brighter future for all.