A New Year and A New You! How to use the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa to improve your life!
Do you know the meaning of Kwanzaa? It is an African-American celebration of life from 26 December to 1 January, created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. Dr. Karenga created this festival for Afro-Americans as a response to the commercialism of Christmas.
Many moons ago when I was an undergraduate at Kean University, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Karenga. I was only in the baby stages of self- awareness and I had no clue about the importance of celebrating our culture, both ancient and current. Now, I fully recognize that many of our issues within the Black Community begin with the LACK OF SELF LOVE AND AWARENESS!
As I approach 2020, The beginning of a New Year and New Decade I started to reflect on how I can better serve my community, my family and myself. So I decided to start with the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa as my Guide! Here are a few recommendations to start living your best life!
Day 1: Umoja: (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
- Create a Family (OR Personal) Mission Statement.
- Host Soul Food Sunday Meals with Family and Friends.
Day 2: Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves. I love Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, her refusal to wear a wig or a weave and embrace her natural hair and still win the crown is an inspiration to all of us to embrace our beaute' EVERY DAY!
- Create A SELF LOVE Affirmation board!
- Pay a woman a compliment and mean it!
- Embrace Aging.
Day 3: Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together. As a way to uplift the community my company donates $1.00 of every sale to a nonprofit that is dedicated to promoting education and empowering black girls. But giving back is more than just donating money!
- Volunteer at least once a month.
- Donate old stuff that you know you no longer need!
Day 4: Ujamaa (Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
- Support a Black-Owned business.
- Start your own Business!
Day 5: Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
- Bring traditions like Kwanzaa to the spotlight as a way to remind us of just how beautiful our heritage is.
Day 6: Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
- Recycle! Recycle! Recycle! Mother Earth Deserves it.
- Clean up your local park and neighborhood.
Day 7: Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
- Pray without ceasing!
- Meditate and listen to God.
Happy 2020! May God bless you and your family!