Happy New Year From Atta

Happy New Year!

I sincerely hope and pray for a much better year in 2017. Not to sound negative, but 2016 was a troublesome year for humanity. Humanity witnessed some of the most brutal atrocities including mass human killings, forced migrations of millions of innocent and helpless refugees, unprecedented political turmoil/changes, and much more. Our world should be focused on opportunities to educate and serve people. Instead, we have seen clear and unconscionable human right abuses by governments and an ongoing growth of poverty/income inequalities worldwide.

But, history has and will continue to prove that humanity finds ways to thrive and not give up on hopes and dreams. So, let’s do our part in light of all the challenges.

What does life look like without dreams? More importantly, what are dreams without actions? I challenge you to make your dreams a reality through action. 

In working with large groups of people over the course of years, I have seen people fail to achieve their personal/professional goals. The question should not be about what you want to accomplish this year. Rather, ask yourself how many of your goals/targets you achieved last year. If you were not able to accomplish some of your goals/targets, ask yourself why.

Instead of writing a long list of new resolutions, it may be a good idea to think of last year’s lists. Build on your previous achievements and accomplish goals you didn't have a chance to accomplish.

Happy New Year.

Immigrants and Holidays

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A friend had sent me the cartoon above, which made me think about the various impacts holidays have on all of us.

When it comes to holidays, I do think Immigrants are more spoiled than others. This, of course, is due to the fact that they have the opportunity to enjoy plenty of new holidays on top of their existing traditions. But, with endless holidays throughout the year and the increase of financial burdens, holidays (nowadays) can lead to bad things.

When holidays come around it is a good time to regroup and take conscious steps towards avoiding unnecessary pressures and anxieties. 

Holidays, after all, should bring joy, harmony and a genuine feeling of Gratefulness.

 Reflect on:

  •  What is most important to you and your family during the holidays?
  • Who are the best people to spend time with? Some are very close family and friends, but how about reaching out to those you have been away from for a very long time?
  •  What is an appropriate gift item?
  • What impact will the item have on the life of the potential recipient?
  • Will the gift empower the recipient to lead a better life?
  • How about doing research on what a potential recipient truly needs?
  • Are you compromising your physical and mental health to just impress others during the holidays?
  • Are you willing to avoid big feasts and instead allocate food to the needy?
  • Have you saved enough? Or, do you plan to borrow in order to impress others?
  • Are you thinking of the financial obligations in your life (education, retirement, etc.)?
  • Do you have a list of charities you can give to?
  • What are your expectations during big holiday gatherings? 
  • Do you plan to avoid noise and instead interact more with family and loved ones?
  • Are you ready to shut down and collect all electronic devices during family/social gatherings?  I honestly believe it is very rude to see so many children and adults face down glued to their phones during gatherings.
  • Do you have clear plans for carrying your best wishes and messages?
  • Do you plan to allow children to participate in discussions, storytelling and reflect on what holidays/gatherings mean to them?