It’s the Holiday Season and amidst all of the preparations and celebrations, it is the perfect time to seek a few moments of much needed reflection, and hopefully achieve a greater sense of intimacy with family and friends.
I say Holiday Season because during December, religions that are not Christian have their own calendar for a time and approach to a special celebration that is meaningful to their faithful and yet might not coincide with ours.
While most of us will anticipate the fun of the holiday season, a dark cloud becomes prevalent around the same time: flu season. It begins in October and lingers into early spring, with January and February being the peak time.
Occasionally, I worry that some people confuse the flu with the common cold. Please don’t say, “it’s only the flu, he or she will be OK.” It’s not all right, particularly because it is so preventable.
On Dec. 8, some of my neighbors and, yes, even those of you who do not live in the areas I represent will have an opportunity to help spread some holiday cheer. All of us, from time to time, could use a reminder of how fortunate we are and the blessings we’ve received. These fortunate circumstances, I hope, will at least prompt some to offer a helping hand to those who are less fortunate.
November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. Diabetes is a major health issue both because of the dangers it can levy on your health and its growing prevalence across our general population.
Many of our holidays have symbols — some secular, some sacred — that capture the essence of the individual holiday. For Christmas, it’s Santa Claus and baby Jesus in a crib. For Thanksgiving, it’s a stuffed Turkey (and the trimmings) and understanding that the feast centers around a table of plenty shared by family and friends.
As I noted in last week’s blog, I am a believer in our veterans. I am not only a believer but a supporter of our military personnel, and that support doesn’t end once they return to civilian life. Indeed, while the military was responsible for their members when they were on active duty, it is we, legislators and citizens alike, who must offer the support and direction they both deserve and frequently need upon their re-entry into civilian life.
I am a believer in our veterans. I am a believer that these heroic men and women, who serve in our armed forces, deserve an extraordinary amount of gratitude and consideration because they provide an extraordinary degree of service to the citizens of the United States.
What price would you pay for democracy?
It’s not a trick question, and I’ll ask it again. What price would you pay to live in a democratic country like the United States?
We all must pay a price for living in a democracy, as flawed and imperfect as it seems at times. Those who serve in our military or lawful immigrants who came to this country from a country that violates their basic human rights just might have a better sense of that price.
Research shows that employers frequently overlook and sometimes exclude the long-term unemployed from job opportunities. One study found that candidates who had been out of work for eight months received a call back for interviews only about half as often as candidates who had been out of work for only one month, even with an otherwise identical resume.
“Cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers the United States faces.” – President Barack Obama
Twice a year, during daylight saving time (it’s coming up in November), we’re reminded to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. It’s a simple, inexpensive, precautionary effort, perfectly timed to our changing of the clocks.