"Hope for a brighter morning even during our darkest nights" — Oprah Winfrey

I could not help but let the emotion rise up within me when I heard the acceptance speech from Oprah Winfrey when she received the Cecil B De Mille Award at the Golden Globe Awards.

I have often been impressed by the things she says, but never so much as this acceptance speech. More and more I see and hear of the need to stand together, all those women and men who have put up with 'hell'. By 'hell', I mean when some decide others weren't people. When things are done, that should not be done. From history we remember when horrific things were done to people, people of different races and religions, and when vast numbers of people were killed. Maybe no big wars now, yet our lethargy continues. People in the world are starving, we watch them, while indulging in our meals and mostly do nothing.

I have never been able to understand how people can be so cruel to each other, to diminish a human being in the most cruel ways. Mind you, I feel the same about animals and dislike cruelty to them too. My mind has changed over the years and accelerated recently to wanting to treasure each magnificent creature on this earth (and maybe even beyond earth) as having the right to be itself. I know there are many challenges in that, I face them too. But we must not lose hope. There is a call to each one of us, young, middle aged or older, to rise up and free hope.

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My Angels remind me that alongside someone to love, and something to do, the other most important thing is something to hope for. There is so much to hope for in this world of ours, as we move past self-serving and focus on serving others, with whatever we have, whenever we can spare it. Often this means stepping out of our comfort zones and daring to be different when it counts. Can we count on each other to rise to this change and to make even small incremental steps toward a more just and fair world? In this challenge I am reminded of the words of a dreamer, John Lennon — "I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one".

My friends, bless you in this week to come. And in the words of Alfred Tennyson, "May hope smile from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier ... " Arohanui.
Shirley-Joy