Friday, December 27, 2013

A New Moon for the New Year and Resolutions

In 2014, the new year starts with a new moon, which astrologers say is a sign of new beginnings. Just about all of us will make new year's resolutions, which I think is a great idea because it gives us an incentive to better ourselves and make a new beginning in one way or another.

Resolutions are really about setting goals, and some of us will keep working to achieve or maintain these goals throughout the year while sadly, the good intentions of others will fall by the wayside.

The key is not to make resolutions that you know will be almost impossible to keep. Weight loss is one of the most popular resolutions, but resolving to lose 100 lbs is probably not a realistic goal. Setting small goals that we can accomplish makes so much more sense. Each small success will encourage us and spur us on to keep working at making ourselves better. Perhaps a goal of 5lbs each month or over two months would be easier to fulfill.

My resolution for 2014 is probably the simplest one I've made for a long time. I plan to smile more in 2014. If you smile, you can't really be angry, and that's the whole idea. I like the quote I read in some fortune cookie too: "Your smile comes back to you." It's so true. If you smile at someone they usually smile back.

Every night when I get into bed and turn out the light, I say a little prayer to thank God for keeping my loved ones and all my friends safe, and ask him to keep them safe for at least another day. Then I turn my thoughts to the day that has just passed and congratulate myself for all the small achievements I made. I also look at the mistakes I made during the day and determine not to make the same mistakes again. In this way I hope to better myself a little every day, one small step at a time.

Some of us will be turning to astrologers to get some kind of idea what to expect in the new year. While astronomy is only a guide, it may give us a hint at what is to come.

Here's one astronomer's predictions for 2014:

http://www.gtweekly.com/index.php/santa-cruz-columns-commentary-oped/good-times-astrology-/5283-risa-astrology.html



Saturday, December 7, 2013

Goodbye, Madiba

I was born and raised in Africa, and having lived in South Africa for many years I feel that it would be fitting for me to write something about Nelson Mandela's passing.  He was a great leader revered by many for his humility.

The media loves to report that Nelson Mandela was a saint and he was illegally imprisoned by a racist regime for opposing apartheid, but that's simply not true.  Nelson Mandela was a member of the communist-backed ANC party. Together with Joe Slovo, a Lithuanian  Jew, Mandela formed and headed up the communist party's uMkhonto we Sizwe – the Spear of the Nation. Under his leadership, many innocent men, women and children of all races lost their lives in bombings in public places in South Africa.

In 1962, Mandela was arrested, together with several other communist party members both black and white.  Between them they were tried for 221 acts of sabotage against the South African government.

Apartheid in South Africa was wrong, as was the racial discrimination that took place in the US in the '60's, but any government would do the same to political criminals who conspired against them and murdered their citizens.

Mandela could have been sentenced to death, but instead he received a life sentence.

In 1989, the moderate, F. W. de Klerk became the president of South Africa and soon announced his policy of reform and his plan to end apartheid.  He legalized the South African Communist Party and met with Nelson Mandela at the prison. In time, Mandela was released and subsequently voted in to become president.

In his years as president, Mandela was known by the nickname Madiba, a tribal title of respect. Mandela strove to relieve racial tensions and succeeded in bringing the people of South Africa together, which gained the country the name  'Rainbow Nation'. 

Madiba's humility is probably what made him great. In books and speeches he made a point of admitting his errors and stating that he was flawed just like the rest of us.

Nelson Mandela  made his mark on the world and will be remembered by many with respect and affection.

Rest in Peace, Madiba.

Trish Jackson is the author of several  romantic suspense fiction novels.