Heart Thoughts: Happiness, Black History

How quickly the time rolls around for me to write this article. What is on my mind this morning is a women’s retreat. Now is the time to begin planning one and my desire is to have a team of women who would assist in this planning. If this is of interest to you and you have the time, please contact me.

I want to give a shout-out to the In-Reach Team. If you were at the annual meeting, you heard a call for a team to respond to the needs of our members in times of life’s challenges. The team has been meeting and we are nearing the time to roll out the program. Those serving are Lorris Marx-Adam, Mimo Otis, Nancy Sawyer, Connie Troumbley, Bonnie Dalrymple, and Betti Lu Lewis.

Sharing about the teams and events that are happening at Unity Center for Spiritual Growth ties right into the series I am doing on Sunday mornings using the book Ethics For The New Millennium by the Dalai Lama.

I shared from a study done in 1938. Harvard researchers embarked on a decades-long study to find out: What makes us happy in life?

The researchers gathered health records from 724 participants from all over the world and asked detailed questions about their lives at two-year intervals. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not career achievement, money, exercise, or a healthy diet.

The most consistent finding we’ve learned through 85 years of study is: Positive relationships keep us happier, and healthier, and help us live longer. Period.

As I was writing this, I got an email with this attachment that I had to share with you…


Happy people have five important outlooks:
• They believe that life has meaning.
• They are kind.
• They are true to themselves.
• They have a sense of belonging – family, community, and world.
• They are there for each other.

Albert Einstein said that the purpose of life is to be happy. He called happiness “sacred awe.”

Of course, we know that our life path is not always smooth. Sometimes there are twisting roads in our journey. We can’t circumvent these trials, but we can control how we face them. There is always a rainbow of hope and love if we turn from our hard challenges to face the sun.

Do you realize that every day you are creating a symphony of your life? It is the variety of experiences in our lives that creates the music. It is the challenges of life that give the music its rhythm. These contrasts make life sing.

The first heartbeat you hear before you are born is your mother’s, and throughout your life, your heart is your personal drum. When illness strikes, some doctors are now prescribing actual drumming as a therapy. Indigenous tribes have long known the value of drumming to help people heal.

Alan Löwenstein-Jensen, founder of The Art of Being, spoke about the two essential languages. They are words and music. Both go into our core and connect us with the spirit. He said: “We carry our mother within us wherever we go. It is the greatest gift. The mother of the heart has no conditions. It says, “I celebrate your being for who you are.” You need to say yes to who you are now with all your imperfections.”

With a quiet mind, please close your eyes and visualize the symphony of your life. Let go of material things to see the true gift of opportunity.

Each one of us has been blessed with kindness, happiness, beauty, health, and time to appreciate. We have the opportunity to stand in the midst of this glory, hovering in and reaching out to share our beautiful world.

Reach out with thoughts and acts of kindness. Fill your heart with love and extend that love to all you meet. Make your life sing with joy!

*Contributed by Sister Patricia Brady

On Sunday you got to meet Roxy, the young lady who has her own share of health issues; however, she also is in service. She is selling Girl Scout cookies. I don’t usually promote on this forum; however, I feel she needs a little extra love and support… If you want to order cookies online, here is the link: https://app.abcsmartcookies.com/#/social-link-landing/b66eb432-8726-40cf-828d-b04299742db3

Join me next week when we do a dive into the Ethics of Compassion and the Ethics of Suffering.

Carter Woodson

Carter G. Woodson

Black History Month was first established as “Negro History Week” by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926 and later expanded to a month-long observance in 1976.

Woodson overcame early obstacles to become a prominent historian and author of several notable books on Black Americans. Born in 1875 to illiterate parents who were former slaves, Woodson’s schooling was erratic. He helped out on the family farm when he was a young boy and as a teen worked in the coal mines of West Virginia to help support his father’s meager income. Hungry for education, he was largely self-taught and had mastered common school subjects by the age of 17. Entering high school at the age of 20, Woodson completed his diploma in less than two years.

Woodson worked as a teacher and a school principal before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in literature from Berea College in Kentucky. After graduating from college, he became a school supervisor in the Philippines and later traveled throughout Europe and Asia. In addition to earning a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, he became the second Black American, after W.E.B. Du Bois, to obtain a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He joined the faculty of Howard University, eventually serving as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

After being barred from attending American Historical Association conferences despite being a dues-paying member, Woodson believed that the white-dominated historical profession had little interest in Black history. He saw African-American contributions “overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them.”

For Black scholars to study and preserve Black history, Woodson realized he would have to create a separate institutional structure. With funding from several philanthropic foundations, Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915 in Chicago, describing its mission as the scientific study of the “neglected aspects of Negro life and history.” The next year, he started the scholarly Journal of Negro History, which is published to this day under the name Journal of African American History.

Woodson’s devotion to showcasing the contributions of Black Americans bore fruit in 1926 when he launched Negro History Week in the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson’s concept was later expanded into Black History Month.

Woodson died from a heart attack at the age of 74 in 1950. His legacy lives on every February when schools across the nation study Black American history, empowering Black Americans and educating others on the achievements of Black Americans.

Throughout the course of his life, Woodson published many books on Black history, including the A Century of Negro Migration (1918), The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 (1919), The History of the Negro Church (1921), and The Negro in Our History (1922). https://naacp.org/find-resources/history-explained/civil-rights-leaders/carter-g-woodson

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

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