By Terri Lee Freeman
It's a new year -- my favorite time of year because it is so symbolic.
A new year is a signal for another chance and a fresh start. While it doesn't mean we get to erase the past, it does suggest that we should learn from the past and move forward to do better. The bridge from 2015 to 2016 was particularly poignant for me as my family welcomed a new generation. A beautiful baby boy born to our eldest daughter. As I looked upon this perfectly formed little human and soul, I beamed with pride and my love for him overflowed. I also bore a weight that I'd never felt before -- a fear for this son, a black boy in a society that doesn't appear to value their lives equally. I'd never felt this before because I've mothered three daughters and my concerns and fears for them, while existent, were significantly different.
As I looked at this beautiful child, my mind raced to the beautiful black sons that were lost to violence in 2015. And then I had a strange thought, what if in 2016 we invested in saving every child just as we do the sick children at St. Jude? What if we looked at every life as one of promise, that unless we worked to eliminate the illness and dis-ease that invades their community we will lose brilliant minds yet to mature? What if we (our collective society) told every parent that we had their back by ensuring that they had the tools to provide for their child within a safe and caring environment? An environment that employed positive prejudice and saw hope, innovation, and possibility in every child, in every son. What if.... what if?
We've crossed the bridge into 2016 and we must resolve to make it a better year than 2015. We must resolve to change our preconceived notions about difference, and recognize our similarities. We must resolve to work to gain the freedoms promised in our Constitution, to every child and citizen of our nation. We must resolve to ensure justice for all. We must resolve to protect and expand the humanity that exists within each of us.
Let's make 2016 a year to remember. A year we demonstrate our commitment to equality, to justice, to fairness and to the promise of all our children.