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1975 - Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital opens with 100 beds [story]
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The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014

JenniferFischer…is for eyes to be opened and lives to be renewed and validated. Starting with myself, I realize I often do not feel I am “enough.” I need to be a better mother. I need to work harder for my company. I need to do more, more, more. But when I step back, I face the reality that even if I achieved so much more, I would probably still find myself feeling I wasn’t enough.

I know I am not alone. I look around and see a world full of individuals who feel they are not enough, individuals seeking validation, individuals desperately trying to be heard, seen, recognized.

Christmas has been commodified. Lives have been commodified. We’ve become a culture obsessed with material items; we measure one another based on what we have, not who we are and how we treat one another. We are society of lost souls in many ways.

I see Eric Garner’s death and I think of Sandy Hook. I read the recent headlines about the two officers, Liu and Ramos, gunned down in New York City, and I think of Columbine. I read details of the Torture Report and my heart breaks open. I see all of these dots connecting rapidly as our society boils over. So many people are angry. So many people feel lost. So many people feel voiceless.

We’ve become a culture obsessed with and addicted to violence. We’ve become a society that has lost its ability to engage in positive dialogue. It seems no one has a clue how truly to solve problems – starting with their roots. It’s all quick fixes and Band-Aid solutions.

Too often we engage in a war of words that pulls us all further apart rather than seeing our common ground and realizing the value of working together to achieve needed changes. We need communities in which law enforcement and citizens trust one another and seek to work together to create safer communities. We need schools where all children are treasured equally and nurtured to be their best selves. We need a society where we treat each other with humanity and kindness on a daily basis, reducing isolation and disparity rather than increasing it.

This is what I want for Christmas. I want my eyes to be opened to those who are hurting around me so I can offer kindness, love and support. I want to see individuals crossing partisan lines to create solutions. I want to see individuals who view themselves on different “sides” deciding they will seek out common ground – even a tiny, tiny piece of common ground – and invite someone from the other side to join them on that tiny piece of common ground so that productive, healing, restorative conversations can begin to happen.

I know these things are easier said than done. I know there are people suffering. I know too many people have suffered great loss, greater than any I have known. But I also know there are many who have suffered greatly and still reached across barriers and move forward with love … Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and countless others whose names have been lost. I’ve seen compassion, empathy, honesty and love move mountains.

Give me compassion, empathy and love for Christmas, and you keep everything else. It’s truly all I need.

 

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Steven Lee says:

    Well written article. I hope you Christmas is all you wish it to be.

  2. Thank you for what you do in the community…you are a leader.
    We all appreciate your articles and what they represent.

    Bob Hernandez
    The ARTree

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HMNMH
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