[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 17
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]

The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Dec 28, 2013

JenniferFischerI am not really big on resolutions. I prefer to reflect and set intentions for each new year. Typically I do this by selecting a “focus word” for the year.

For 2013, the word was “abundance,” but perhaps not in the way you might think. Not focused on the abundance of stuff, but rather a focus on appreciating the fullness of life.

In a dictionary I recently consulted, the second definition stood out: “overflowing fullness.” For me, that means a home filled with laughter or a kitchen overflowing with the smells of a delicious, home-cooked meal.

At the beginning of 2013, I noted another example of abundance: the fullness of sharing not only my life with my husband, but also sharing our professional goals as we struggle together as independent filmmakers and arts educators.

In short, the point was to recognize the abundance in my life just as it is, not how wonderful life would be “if only.” I have to thank Shawn of The Abundant Mama Project for helping me shift my focus so I could recognize the abundance of my life — as is.

For 2014, the word I’ve chosen is “compassion.” This choice grew out of keen observation of the world around me, not only right in my own community, but also in the much wider world.

There were certainly moments this past year when violence, destruction, misunderstandings and hate loomed large, or moments when I’ve viewed, at the supermarket perhaps, extreme anger over something quite minor.

In these moments and observations, I note the need for greater compassion in the world and realize that focusing on fostering compassion in myself and with my family is a good place to start.

As I shared recently on my blog, I decided long ago that when I didn’t have an “answer” or “solution” to a challenge or a “fix” for someone in need, I would always just try to give more love to the world. In short, I would try to respond with compassion.

The value of that, and the need for greater compassion in the world, feels necessary. So I am looking forward to this new year and to exploring, truly and deeply, what it means to foster compassion.

Do you make resolutions or set intentions for the new year? If so, and you feel like sharing, pop over to The Good Long Road on Facebook and let me know. I’d love to hear it.


Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.


Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. why is your posting format so confusing? I keep thinking this is spam

  2. Fatty mole under her nose

  3. It’s interesting that a piece promoting the need and value of compassion in the world receives such harsh criticisms. For a more heartfelt look at my selection of the word compassion and the inspiration for it, I’m sharing another piece: http://jennifischer.blogspot.com/2013/12/compassion-my-word-for-2014.html — I am hoping for a kinder and more thoughtful world in the new year. I see the importance of starting where you are with those that “surround” you, even if virtually. I wish you all a happy new year.

  4. Kiri says:

    Thanks Jennifer, I struggle with pinning resolutions down to anything too specific, but I like the word idea and your choice of word too. The world can always do with more compassion and while it is always tempting to leap to judgement, having that word as a reminder just gives you a little pause to think about a response in difficult situations.

  5. Sheila says:

    I typically set a new family theme, something for us all to work on, around this time of year. I believe greater compassion in our homes and in our communities is needed. Deciding to respond to anger with compassion rather than rage, respond to fear with compassion rather than mocking another, and respond to ignorance with compassion rather than hate would have a tremendous impact on our lives. You’ve inspired a train of thought for me. Thank you! Your pieces are always insightful.

  6. stacy says:

    Excellent choice Jen, we could all benefit from a world filled with more compassion and wouldn’t be nice if we could practice a bit more of it online as well? I’m not sure what our word will be just yet this year … will have to think on that for a bit.

  7. Chelsea says:

    Love this article, and I agree compassion is so needed in our world on ALL levels. Considering the feelings and needs of others before we do, say, write, or even think anything. Imagine if we all did that.

  8. Becky says:

    I love this. Thank you so much for sharing- empathy and compassion are the most important lessons we can teach our kids and students!

  9. Barbara says:

    My one little word for 2013 was gratitude. Not just like remembering to say thank you, but to find something to be grateful for in all things, even challenging, difficult, hard things. Ten days into that resolution, I was hit head-on by an alcohol-impaired driver and I really had to work to mine gratitude while lying broken on a bridge waiting for an ambulance and a wrecker. But my focus word, gratitude, got me through some dark and trying times this year. So thank you, Jennifer, for these words of wisdom and reflection. I love what Chelsea said, too … imagine if we all did what you suggested … picked a focus word and worked at getting better! I’ve picked JOY for my 2014 word.

    Write on!

  10. Kim says:

    Compassion would be the world I would to describe you Jen so it will be fun to see how you implement it even more in your life in 2014. You are a role model for serving others. We’re deciding as a family for our word of the year this week and painting a picture of it for our wall. Blessings, Simplify, Motivate, Kindness, Connect, Joy are all in the running.

  11. Carly says:

    What a beautiful post — I love the idea of focusing on a word for the year Thanks for inspiring me!

  12. Theresa says:

    I love that you pick a word to focus on for the year. Abundance and compassion are both wonderful and inspirational choices. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

Leave a Comment

Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]
After 16 years as director of Parks, Recreation and Community Service for the city of Santa Clarita, Rick Gould announced Monday he's retiring in mid-December.
Rick Gould Retires as City’s Parks & Recreation Chief
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Governor Brown signed off on a new bill that will change local water retailers distribute water in SCV. Plus, a spicy and savory Saturday for charity. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, October 16, 2017
The Newhall School District's next Regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 17 at 6:15 p.m., and consideration of Newhall Family Theater approvals are on the agenda.
Oct. 17: Newhall School District Considers Newhall Family Theater OK
Master’s and Westmont College needed more than 90 minutes again Saturday to settle a Golden State Athletic Conference showdown in Santa Barbara.
Master’s Men Soccer Players Fall to Westmont in OT
Leaders from the CLWA and NCWC will meet in October, November and December to discuss their merger, which creates the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency as of Jan. 1.
Next Step: Water Agency Officials to Share Merger Details
Master’s women soccer players and coaches alike were adamant after Saturday’s top-10 matchup that Westmont’s 5-2 win wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the score suggests.
Westmont Tops Master’s Women’s Soccer 5-2
Although Friday the 13th is a day generally associated with bad luck, CalArts turned the superstition on its ear as the community celebrated the inauguration of its fourth president, Ravi S. Rajan.
CalArts Inaugurates Ravi S. Rajan as Fourth President
CalArts School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser brings her collage film program "Double Vision" to REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
Oct 16: ‘Double Vision’: Recent Films by Janie Geiser at REDCAT
The promising signs the Mustangs showed in their Missouri opener paid off in the evening Friday when Master’s women’s volleyball picked up its first road win of the season.
Master’s Rallies on the Road, Nets Season’s First Win
College of the Canyons' women's volleyball team opened Western State Conference play in style, as the Cougars swept visiting West L.A. College in straight sets.
No. 11 Canyons Sweeps West L.A. at the Cougar Cage
Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country will host a fundraiser for local victims of the October 1 Las Vegas shootings on Saturday, October 28, from noon to 4 p.m.
Oct. 28: Route 66 Hosts Benefit for Las Vegas Shooting Victims
A roundup of the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Oct. 16-20, 2017.
Oct. 16-20: Santa Clarita Arts Upcoming Events
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's October mixer is set for Wednesday, October 18 at Atria Senior Living in Newhall starting at 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: SCV Chamber October Mixer at Atria
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will host a series of "Great Futures" tours for local residents in an effort to get the word out about the club's programs and services.
SCV Boys & Girls Club Hosts ‘Great Futures’ Tours
A special meeting of the Santa Clarita City Council, the Planning Commission, the Parks, Recreation and Communnity Services Commission, the Arts Commission, and the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel is set for Tuesday, October 17 at City Hall.
Oct. 17: Harassment, Abusive Conduct Prevention Training for City Officials
The Hart Indians outscored the Canyon Cowboys 35-18 at Harry Welch Stadium Friday, October 13, in the teams' 50th matchup, and Kevin Karzin, president of the SCV Photographers Association, contributed photos from the game.
Photo Gallery: Hart Indians Beat Canyon Cowboys 35-18
Gov. Brown has vetoed a President Donald Trump-inspired proposal that would have required presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the statewide ballot.
Brown Vetoes Bill Requiring Candidates Release Tax Returns
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a series of bills on Sunday calling for criminal justice reforms, including reduction of penalties for some gun and drug crimes and changes to the Megan's Law sex offender registry.
Brown Signs Bills for Criminal Justice Reforms
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]
With the stroke of his pen Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated the Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District and replaced them with a new water agency for the Santa Clarita Valley.
Brown Signs Wilk Bill Merging SCV Water Agencies
1939 - Second, larger OLPH Catholic Church dedicated on site of first (10th & Walnut, Newhall) [story]
Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises celebrated the New York premiere of “Born to Dance,” the latest offering from its first-of-its-kind partnership with award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and famed director/creator Daniel C. Levine.
Princess Cruises Celebrates NY Premiere of ‘Born to Dance’ With Schwartz, Levine
1980 - Phillies beat Royals in Game 1 of World Series; Hart grad Bob Walk is winning pitcher [story]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored 17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 44th Student Academy Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills Thursday night.
Medalists Revealed at 2017 Student Academy Awards
The Los Angeles Dodgers will play host to the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the 2017 NLCS at Dodger Stadium on Saturday starting at 5:08 p.m.
National League Championships Open at Dodger Stadium Saturday
Santa Clarita ranks No. 5 among Los Angeles County's 88 cities in the assessed value of all taxable real property and business personal property, according to the 2017 Annual Report released by County Assessor Jeffrey Prang today.
Santa Clarita No. 5 Highest Valued City in LA County
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and a coalition of other law enforcement agencies and community organizations will host the 9th Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, October 16 from 8:25 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Oct. 16: Cyber Crime Symposium for Educators, Parents, Students
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, locals found out what it is like to be a school principal. Plus, there are some great events to head out to this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 13, 2017
Starting Monday night, Oct. 16, the California Department of Transportation will paint new temporary lanes on a section of Interstate 5 aka the Golden State Freeway in and near the city of Santa Clarita.
New Temporary Lanes Coming Monday on Interstate 5 in SCV
The William S. Hart Union High School District is looking for someone to become a personnel commissioner to serve a three-year term beginning December 1, 2017.
Hart District Seeks Personnel Commissioner for Classified Employees
The College of the Canyons baseball program and Playa Vista Orioles youth baseball organization will host a free instructional clinic for players ages 11-14 at COC's Cougar Field in Valencia on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Oct. 21: COC Baseball, Playa Vista Orioles Youth Classic
An alumna of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Cinthya Medrano, is the first recipient of a Duane R. Harte Memorial Scholarship.
Cinthya Medrano Earns First Duane R. Harte Memorial Scholarship
The non-profit Santa Clarita Coalition has created a Facebook page to aid the Evans family after the mother of six children died in a car crash on Golden Valley Road.
Facebook Page Created to Aid Evans Family
The Golden State Gateway Coalition, a non-profit transportation education and advocacy organization based in Santa Clarita, has published the fall 2017 edition of its newsletter, "Interchange."
Golden State Gateway Coalition Issues Fall 2017 Newsletter
The Castaic Lake Water Agency's Budget and Rates Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 17: CLWA Budget and Rates Committee Meeting