My Inner Reflections of Life

by Ting Joven-Giovanelli
December 16, 2011
The serenity of sunrise at dawn and the setting sun at the end of the day always take my breath away. Somehow, my affinity to these wonders of life was conceived when I was a growing child in the care of my maternal grandmother. Having lost my mother at a very young age, and separated from my siblings shortly after that, there was not much left for an orphan like me in the small village I grew up in. To this day, watching the calming colors before the sun rises at dawn, and watching the sun set, seem to give me the peace of mind that my life will always be under Someone’s care up there. It has always been – no matter what!

Life is such. We only have one chance to live – live it with grace and honesty. Time has changed and it will continue to do so. It is easy to be carried away with all the challenges we face everyday – be it for survival in this economic hard times, or a struggle to keep healthy and fit, or, perhaps, dealing with an ailment or a family tragedy. At the end of the day, after the sun sets, we only have two choices: either to complain how tough the day was, or, be humble enough to count our blessings.

The recent horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has devastated America. Once again, our nation comes together. There were no dry eyes as we watched the news on television. Even the most powerful man on earth, the President of the United States of America had to wipe his tears as he addressed the nation after the tragic event. I felt the pain of the parents of the twenty innocent children who will never be able to open their presents under the tree on Christmas day. As one radio commentator said on the day of the shooting: “God did not need any more angels today”.

I feel the sorrow of the loved ones left behind by the teachers, some, lost their lives protecting the children from the gunman. Heroic acts of love for what they do. This time, it really hit close to home. I couldn’t help thinking of my own son who is also a teacher in a French School in New York. Just two days before the Connecticut school shooting, another gunman did the same thing in a mall in Portland, Oregon, where my daughter lives. A sigh of relief that they are both safe and sound.

Just when you think it’s over, waking up the following morning after the Connecticut shooting with the news that another gun shooting happened inside the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas seem to be just a nightmare. This time, it really hit close to home because it is where my nephew works and I knew it happened on his shift. Although still very much shaken, he is okay. Thank God.

What is going on America? We are supposed to be living in the safest place on earth. Our lawmakers need to toughen the laws on gun possession in America. It is shocking to learn that anybody can buy a gun in a gun show without a thorough background check and waiting period. But just as critical as tougher laws on gun control, is the focus on family issues that lead to violent acts as in the case of the gunman in Connecticut, who killed his mother first before driving to the school and mass murdered innocent children and adults.

Indeed, these tragic events dampened our Holiday spirits. This is supposed to be the month to be merry – especially for our children. Things happen for a reason. This is a wake up call for America. Perhaps, we have too much freedom and rights in this land.
Perhaps, our children need more parental guidance no matter how old they are. A parent’s responsibility should not end when their child turns eighteen.
As the year 2012 is about to end, we should all pause and reflect on how we can make this world, a better place to live in – not only for the present but for the future. Let us pray for world peace and be less consumed of hatred. Let us not sweat the small stuff.
After all, our stay on earth is only temporary. Let us not forget to share our blessings especially this Holiday Season.

Meanwhile, we have featured on this issue, some of the most remarkable women in our community. They have inspired us in so many ways. We hope you will enjoy reading their passions in life and how they battled their own challenges. They have graced our magazines in the past, yet, they bring something new every time. We hope that their life stories can inspire some of us. If you read between the lines, their common denominator is hard work and knowing how to enjoy life. They have style, they have class – something money can’t always buy.

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