Oprah owns a collection of original property ledgers from former plantations. The ledgers contain the names, ages, and prices of people along with cattle, wagons, and other possessions. The framed ledgers hang in her library as a reminder of where she came from.
Oprah is the great-great-granddaugter of enslaved people. In a different era, her name would have been in someone’s ledger. Oprah says she wants this constant reminder so she remembers, “These women are me.”
Who would you be, where would you be, what would your life be like if someone hadn’t fought for your freedom? Although not a slave, I would have no voice, no vote, and no property.
Affirmations: I honor those who paved the way for me. I will be a “paver” too.
Coaching questions: What do you believe needs to be done today so more will have a life of freedom? What are you doing to pave the way for future generations?
It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only six miles long and two miles wide. PresidentBarack Obama
June 6, 1944, seventy-five years ago today, was the largest seaborne invasion in military history. The landings on Normandy Beach were initiated by the Western Allies in an effort to liberate mainland Europe from Hitler’s reign and Nazi occupation during World War II. The Allied infantry began landing on the coast of France at 6:30 a.m. and by midnight, over 150,000 British, U.S. and Canadian troops had landed in Normandy.
D-Day was a massacre with about 9,000 Allied soldiers either dead or wounded. Even with the massive losses, D-Day enabled the Allied forces to gain momentum and turn the tide toward liberation.
How does D-Day speak to you other than eliciting gratitude and awe for their courage? To me, it says , “Never give up.” Faced with tremendous odds and death-defying conditions, 150,000 troops carried out orders and never gave up. The people they liberated never gave up. The voice of freedom never gave up.
Affirmation: I will not forget. I will never give up on my goals, dreams, and the ongoing fight for freedom.
Coaching questions: What are you tempted to give up on? How does this 75-year-old story help you renew your drive to move forward and never give up? Where will you land?
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Mark Twain
In the United States, today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who served in the military. As much as I love honoring veterans and active service members, Memorial Day is, more specifically, about honoring those who lost their lives in service to our country.
The greatest loss of life for the U.S. was in our own Civil War where brother fought brother killing 623,026 when our population was only thirty-one million.
In total, 1,316,771 American lives have been lost to war. In addition, I shutter to think of the millions of men, women, and children who have been killed in wars worldwide. What can we do to stop the killing, maiming, and emotional trauma?
Affirmation: I will seek peace.
Coaching questions: Thinking of the loss others have experienced is helpful in dealing with our own losses. Who are you thinking of today? What was their contribution to our freedom? What’s one thing you can do to promote peace in the world?
Below is a photo of my dad. Although he served in both WWII and Korea, he was one of the lucky ones who returned home to live another fifty-six robust years working in a Veterans’ Hospital.
The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. Douglas MacArthur, United States General
Tomorrow is Veterans Day in the United States. This annual observation honors military veterans and coincides with similar days celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of WWI were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
I’m honored to have many veterans in my family including my dad, ex-husband, former husband, step granddaughter, and ancestors going back as far as the Revolutionary War. Join me in honoring our veterans the world-over. Our freedom is precious, military veterans make it possible.
Affirmation: I appreciate our veterans.
Coaching request: If you know a veteran, thank them. If you are a veteran, thank you. If you no longer want an accumulation of veterans, work for peace.
A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself. Jim Morrison, American singer, songwriter
If you live in the United States of American, happy 4th of July! As Americans celebrate our country’s independence, I’m suggesting we also celebrate our freedom to be ourselves. Exuberant or quiet, liberal or conservative, old or young, athlete or artist, outdoor enthusiast or gamer….let us celebrate our unique selves.
Having a friend that encourages you to be you is what friendship is all about. Friends who accept us, “worts and all,” give us the freedom to make mistakes, say something just a little over the top, be really sad.
Affirmation: I celebrate my freedom to be me. I celebrate your freedom to be you.
Coaching questions: What about you will you celebrate today? How do you help your friends be themselves?