Count Your Blessings One By One …
The holiday season brings us to that special time when we reflect on all that happened to each of us … big, small, good, bad and everything in between. We at The Fil-Am Voice are especially aware of our blessings at this time.
The years 2020 and 2021 gave us unique, unexpected challenges, bringing communities everywhere a paramount reason to think and act together. No one has been spared the effects of a global pandemic, where even as we began to feel some small measure of relief, we are once again faced with a new, more infectious strain of the virus. Medical experts tell us today to wait until more information is available and to be even more cautious about masking, social distancing and not gathering. Vaccinations are still our best hope to prevent lockdowns. Fortunately, the U.S.A. leads the world in the production and dissemination of millions of doses to places and people that need the most help. The blessings of unified action across the world have become an apparent, urgent necessity.
An even more significant and heartwarming blessing is the immediate, ongoing response to the pandemic, demonstrating heartfelt care and concern from all segments of our community—from our medical first responders and teams of experts, to hospital staff, families and friends, generosity of donors from businesses, big and small. What rose above and beyond these actions is the clear acknowledgement, practice and broad acceptance of the resiliency of the full spectrum of humanity among us. Highlighting our resiliency keeps us profoundly aware of our many blessings.
Most of all, we are blessed by the powerful reminder of the fundamental importance of family, biological and hānai, near and far. These bonds prevent the onslaught of the worst disease of all, loneliness and its resulting stages of depression. Relationships and close heart connection are still the foundational building blocks for joy, gratitude and upliftment for most of us.
First and foremost, we want to thank you for supporting and encouraging us to bring you relevant stories monthly, which we hope will inspire us all to be united as a community. To the businesses that supported us with monthly ad buys, we thank you for sustaining our local and community paper. For your continued support and encouragement, we say Salamat Po and Mabuhay!
Christmas is a season of great joy—and it is a time of our God showing His real love for us. It is a time of healing and renewed strength. Let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of God’s ultimate gift—the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. Christ demonstrated the amazing power of faith, hope and the importance of love. The special message of Christmas is hope … faith…love … joy … life. It is about giving up one’s self for others—and to bring happiness to others—that would be the greatest gift that anyone can give to a stranger. Best gifts to give this Christmas season are not material things; instead—a listening ear, a smile, a word of encouragement, sharing a meal with someone, forgiving someone who may have offended or hurt you and to give a little respite to someone who is caring for an elderly or ill family member.
Christ demonstrated the strength of summoning our better angels. Let us try to have the character and heart of Christ to make our island home a much better place for us, residents and visitors alike.
The Christmas holiday season is even more important as we gather as family and friends to celebrate together, especially after not being able to gather together for the last two holiday seasons due to the pandemic.
Make every moment count.
We wish you all a blessed and Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year! Maligayang Pasko Sa Inyong Lahat! Feliz Navidad! Mele Kalikimaka!