Thursday, January 7, 2021

2021in China: Year of the Ox and hopefully a year with more light...

                       I keep choosing the same word to fill in. I have had it for a few years now... light. Light means to push away the darkness, see the light in others and in myself, to paint with new light, to gather light, hold the light. I am always reminded if there were no darkness, the light would not be so exceptionally luminous. 

May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out. J.R. Tolkein

I am crushed and ashamed at what happened on January 6 in the United States Capitol--in my own country. Everyone should know better than to have violence eclipse their emotions. In a country where we have been given so abundantly, we have not shown deference and understanding with one another--our fellow passengers. Our gift of freedom so dearly fought for, is for every generation to make it better and more accessible for all. Others are depending on us, both those who have passed on and those who will yet live. Furthermore, we live in a global world and need to cooperate and work together--instead of fighting amongst ourselves. 

It has now been about ten years of my life I have lived away from America. In my travels, I have been humbled when talking with people all over the world about the freedoms and advantages I have been gifted. While living and working in United Nations refugee camps, I saw anguish, but also immense hope. Every day I observed yearning faces who daydreamed of a better life. All they wanted was to live without fear of being killed by civil unrest or another country's power trying to dominate them. Domestic and foreign terror is all they had ever known. Others desperately want our freedoms that we should hold dear.

We have all begun a new year with expectant hope and the desire to shake off the clutches of COVID in whatever ways it has controlled our lives. I like the idea presented to me a few years ago by a friend. She told me of her family's resolution to choose a word that would fill in a desire they had for that year--to become someone different by thinking, reading, and learning about that specific word. We have chosen peace, light, charity, and a few others. Sometimes each member chooses a word, and other times, we have all worked for the same outcome. 

As I live in China, a new year will begin on February 12--an ushering in of the Year of the Ox. Here in China, oxes are appearing everywhere in windows and stores. Very soon everyone will remember the attributes of the ox, and try to emulate them. The ox is known for its diligence, persistence, steadiness, and honesty. It is a faithful friend and contributes greatly to society. The ox is always glad to help out in any way when someone is in a predicament. That sounds like a positive description to me of what many Chinese people will be thinking and trying to emulate this year.

What will your word be for 2021?

Some pictures of oxes I saw this summer in Yangshou, China Indeed, they are loved and revered here. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! Your hair looks very nice by the way :). I love your thoughts on freedom after living abroad - how we shouldn’t only be protecting our own freedoms but helping others to have them as well. My word for this year is “breathe”. I often find myself holding my breath. Most of my regrets come from reacting rather than taking a moment to breathe and choose my response more deliberately, or to take time to destress and put daily stresses in a bigger perspective. So that’s what I will work on. Love you!