In a few hours, we’ll begin the countdown to 2018. Here in the East Coast we’ll be having the coldest New Year’s Eve since 1963. I always chuckle on this night, as my family called it, Old Year’s Night.
People will be popping bottles, kissing those closest to them and making resolutions that may be quickly broken. It’s our mindsets that determine what we will do in the coming years. A few years ago, I started making themes for the coming year. Last year, it was the Year of Rebuilding. I aimed to rebuild my body, mind and spirit, after having a heart attack. All of it was difficult, but rewarding. I kept active as instructed. I kept up my weight and my eating plan right until Halloween…. Candy was my treat and mini Snickers was the trick. Kids didn’t ring the doorbell and I couldn’t resist. I kept eating through Thanksgiving and this month and gained a little weight back.
I aim to make myself better than the year prior. I would rather improve overall than make one shaky resolution. I’ve failed many times at those. Just ask the 20 pounds I’ve gained and lost so many times, I have lost count. Once again I will work towards a healthier lifestyle. I’ve got to be much healthier. I want to live longer and live well.
2018’s theme for me is The Year of Renewal. I’m renewing vows to myself. My health is number one. I’ve been fighting one health battle after another since my late 20’s. I can not keep living with this poor health karma. I will defeat it! I vow to be happy no matter what’s going on in my life. I vow to live with gratitude. I will be even more consistent with my Buddhist practice and just be a good person. I hope to travel, have better finances and live surrounded by the love of family and true friends in faith.
The world needs renewal. America needs Renewal. It’s been a rough and depressing year.
There are people still suffering in the aftermath of the hurricanes this summer. There are still US citizens living in Puerto Rico without electricity. They need our help. Our government, their government is not doing all they can. Grassroots organizations are doing as much as they can handle.
Women’s voices are finally being heard about sexual harassment. They should have listened when Anita Hill spoke out and brought it to the steps of Congress, so many years ago. If they had listened we wouldn’t have Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. She’s about to head a task force on the subject. Now, they are going to listen to her.
We need reasonable gun control laws. Mass shootings are not normal. We have to shut down that narrative. We have to understand climate change is real. Our planet and our future is in danger. We can’t tell young adults that abstinence is real birth control. That doesn’t work. We need Planned Parenthood. America is not a solely Christian country. Coal isn’t coming back as an industry. America used to be smarter than this. Dumb is not impressive.
The GOP continues to discriminate against the poor, elderly, children and the sick. It is ugly. Cutting needed social services tells me, they don’t care about us. Their tax bill shows who is important to them. We can do better. We must do better. The midterm elections are coming, Please vote and take your friends with you. We can not leave it to other people. The last time we ended up with #45. We have an ignoramus, white supremacist and a bully in the White House.
With so much going on, I know that some days it maybe harder to keep my theme in mind. However, my Buddhist faith tells me, “When our fundamental mindset changes, we ourselves change. And when we change, the environment and the world change, too. The source of this great transformation is found nowhere but in a radical deepening of our own chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon. This sort of prayer to the Gohonzon is completely different from that found in a dependent, supplicant faith; we do not weakly and passively beg someone for salvation or assistance. Prayer in Nichiren Buddhism is fundamentally a vow. It is a pledge or commitment to follow a chosen course of action; it is a declaration to challenge a clear objective. (March 17, 2006, World Tribune, p. 3)
We’ve reached a place where we need to respect the dignity of humankind. I talk a lot about my Buddhist faith because it helps me to become a better person everyday. Here are some basics of of the SGI-USA and what we believe. These are tenets for all people.
The SGI youth are about to join together in September 2018 and fight for a better world.
My prayer is that in 2018, we all become renewed in one way or another. We can have an internal change and not just for a New Year’s resolution.
Daisaku Ikeda said,
“When we change, the world changes. The key to all change is in our inner transformation—a change of our hearts and minds. This is human revolution.”
Let’s have our human revolutions in 2018! Happy and Healthy 2018 everyone!!
Rest in Peace Reggie Osse’ – fellow Buddhist, district member and Myoho Brother #CombatJack #CombatCancer