Spending time with my family over the Holiday Break opened my eyes to the things we often take for granted. And that’s quality time with family! When was the last time you sat and prayed together or had a meal together? Coming from a strong tight-knit family, this mentality became second nature to us. The old saying, “A family that prays together, stays together,” is what keeps us grounded, humbled and afloat.
It may seem like a given that everyone prioritize family time, but this isn’t always the case. However, it’s an important key factor to a healthy family. In the New Year, I am encouraging others to spend more time together whether it be during a family vacation, a game night or just getting back to having Sunday dinner together. Talking to my family and sharing stories, truly opened my eyes to what’s really important in life. Yet, it’s a missing piece in some households, for many reasons.
How do we begin to restore the village? Where do we start? If you ask me, I’d say it starts at home. Spending time together encourages companionship, strengthens a marriage, and helps form stronger bonds between siblings and the entire family. If you’ve lost it, restore it. If you’ve never had it, maybe it’s time to create it!
For many families, traditions are an important value that have been passed down for decades. Last night, we talked about how my Grandma Cooper was truly the glue of the family. She was always able to gather the family together through her homemade meals. Her macaroni and cheese, her sweet potato pies and other special dishes had everyone’s belly full. But what made her smile on the inside was seeing everyone together. Every holiday, every Sunday, birthdays and even just because moments, we could always count on my grandmother. Together, we were able to create powerful memories. So powerful that it still resonate in our hearts and continues to hold our family together.
Let's create beautiful memories and traditions within our families and in our communities. How would you like your family to be known and regarded within your community? For some families, a strong work ethic is most important. For others, it’s kindness or a life of service. Whatever it is, be sure to do it together.
Through values-based family life, our children learn to express themselves, to grow from their mistakes, to problem-solve and to develop all the abilities and skills that help them become productive members of the community. They watch what we do over what we say.
As we step into a New Year and a New Decade, I am encouraging you all to do more. Let us not allow our daily routines to get in the way of intentionally building strong and meaningful family values.
Happy New Year from my family to yours!!
Candidate for Baltimore City Council, District 4