Editor's note: Columnist Ayanna Najuma joins The Oklahoman to share her years of expertise as a civil-rights leader, public relations expert, syndicated columnist and community volunteer in Oklahoma and beyond as she encourages readers to take control of their lives.
It's the time of year that thoughts of family and kindness kick in.
We have spent the past month making lists of gifts that we need to buy either at the major department store or online, whichever is easier.
Many people think that pulling out the credit card and buying something for someone they know is an expression of love.
I have started to pay close attention to how we treat each other — at the airport on the way home from visiting the loving families we have just traveled hundreds of miles to see, on Black Friday at the department stores, in the parking lot to pick up dolls for the grandchild, standing in line all night at the local electronic store to get the Xbox One game system.
I started to think of the words. “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”
The main theme as we jump-start 2014 is “It's not about me.”
I would love for the holiday season to be focused on how patient we are in the bank when someone needs a little more time to transact their business, or how much compassion we show in letting a young woman with a crying baby come to the front of the grocery line.
Compassion, understanding, respect, forgiveness and patience are some of the greatest expressions of love one can receive; however, the greater gift is the desire to give these things 365 days of the year.
It is my belief that the bigger smile comes across a child's face when they see Mom or Dad in the auditorium as they say their one or two lines in a play or when they get words of congratulations and a big hug after a basketball game.