Being Rich Is Not The Only Way To Make A Difference

Make A Difference

Being rich is not the only way to make a difference, but it helps

 

 Most of us don’t wear a “world’s richest person” label so what we do with our money may not be newsworthy, however, I suspect if we did and we were trying to leave the world better than we found it, we’d have a few projects on our list.

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Be A Hero This Holiday Season

HolidaySeason

I am happy to report that I have arrived. Not at the pinnacle of anything earth-shattering but at that place my grandmother promised. Whenever she’d get emotional over sweet cards from her sister, or a visit from her best friend, we’d ask why and she’d simply say, “just keep living.” She said as you get older, sentimentality takes over and there’s nothing much you can do about it.

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December Is Human Rights Month

Human Rights

December is Human Rights Month—Let’s be about it

Earlier this week I spoke to a friend whose neighbor had died of COVID. She has the kind of neighbors people used to have—you know them because you spend time in their homes, the children play together, they have a key to your house, etc., and I lamented that even though I’ve met my neighbors, I don’t know them.

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Let’s Start Looking Ahead

Let's start looking ahead

Let’s start looking ahead, not dwell on 2020

As we begin this final month of what has become one of our most interesting years, I’d like to take a moment to share some challenges, reflections, and hopes. Most of us had high hopes for 2020—just the sound of it offered positive energy and promise, but we were unprepared for all that has transpired.

Growing up I heard stories about my great-aunt whose husband and infant died during the flu 100 years ago. She also had the flu and was so sick she couldn’t attend the funerals. Over the 65 years I’ve been on the earth I’ve seen us grapple with all kinds of illnesses and new viruses, and while AIDS affected my family, eventually there was some relief. COVID-19 has been different.

I’ve never seen anything spread so completely, in such a frightening way, be so devastating, or touch virtually every family. I’ve never seen anything alter almost everything we know and hold familiar, and yet our unconquerable spirits remain strong, prepared to endure, and move forward at the first opportunity.

I have decided that I would rather see my colleagues and visit at the copier than hang out with them all day on ZOOM, but I’ll get over it. Further, while I have only spent one Christmas away from my mother’s house, I’ll add this one if it keeps her and the rest of my family safe.

As someone who used holiday shopping as therapy, entertainment, and relaxation, the thought of going to the mall scares me to death. My usual shopping began at the mall when it opened in the morning, going in every store, having lunch, dinner, and a snack, and leaving when it closed, but not this year. (Trust me, the way I shop isn’t for the fainthearted. I buy gift cards, enjoy the music and the other shoppers—it’s a beautiful thing…)

I decided months ago that I’d never go back to the bad old days of a million meetings and ripping and running from place to place. I enjoy this slower pace—not the all-day ZOOM meetings—but the quieter, less eventful days with not so many places to go and be.

No, 2020 has not been what we expected but we’ve learned to roll with the punches, go with the flow, and take one day at a time. I’m looking forward to a fresh new year and all that 2021 may bring.

I am prayerful that news coverage will be less about gridlock in Washington and more about our elected officials remembering who they work for. It seems a real shame for the people who are charged with representing us to get paid and go on vacations when the lines for COVID testing and food donations are miles long. And no matter how we spin the messaging or spend our federal dollars, our citizens are suffering in a million ways.

An article I read this morning said many of the “working poor” who are employed by public entities are still eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. Having such large numbers of folks who work hard and long but are never able to afford decent housing, adequate food and health care, or who work but stay poor, ought to keep us and our representatives—both local, state and national—awake at night.

Our challenges are great, but we and our neighbors are greater. Together—the key word here—we must heal our nation and greet 2021 with hope, determination, open hands, and willing hearts. Anything less would be a real shame.

How has 2020 been for you? Share your feelings at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

Getting Older Is A Great Reason To Be Thankful

Thankful

This Thanksgiving I have more reasons than I can count to be thankful. I try to live triumphantly every day, but this year has been filled with a tad more adventure and activity than I would’ve ordered in a given year. As November began, I warned that I would be celebrating my birthday all month and that is still my intention though my official 65th birthday has come and gone.

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Veterans Day And No Shave November Are A Perfect Fit

Veterans day

Veterans Day, No Shave November, are good causes to celebrate

Today is Veterans Day and as the daughter, sister, cousin, niece, and aunt of veterans, let’s take time today and honor those who answered the call to serve our country. When I was growing up my dad and his brother often shared their pride in having served and they loved showing their platoon pictures. They bragged the Veterans Hospitals (The VA) had the best doctors in the world.

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November, A Wonderful Reason To Celebrate

November

November, another wonderful excuse to celebrate all month

I love November for a bunch of reasons. These include election day, it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, we get to celebrate our veterans, I’m having my 65th birthday, and then it’s Thanksgiving. We could be worn out by December though over the past months the pandemic has changed what, how, and why we do almost everything.

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As Election Day Finally Arrives

Election 2020

As election day finally arrives, what are lessons we must learn?

I believe experience is a very fine teacher. In her class I learned from the good, the bad, and the ugly—each lesson etched across my forehead like a badge of honor. I’m not sure which ones I learned the most from, but like Thomas Edison and his invention of the light bulb, I know a million ways not to do the same things the same way again.

Before our next national elections, here are three lessons we ought to consider:

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Ep. 9: Listen to Your Body: A Story of a Breast Cancer Survivor with Andrea Bond Johnson

When it comes to stories of going from there to here, Andrea Bond Johnson has quite a journey to share. She’s the CEO of the Golden Circle Insurance Agency, a full-service firm in Brownsville, Tennessee that evolved from a legacy her grandfather started in the 50s. Moreover, she’s running for office in her hometown with a vision to prioritize people over politics. She champions the importance of health and wellness and has dedicated the majority of her life to serving other people.

But behind all these amazing feats, there is one experience—one struggle—that solidified her calling and beliefs.

Andrea Bond Johnson is a breast cancer survivor.

And the journey from finding out about her situation to surviving such an illness is what propelled her forward.

 

In this episode you will also discover:

  • Running a family business and working in the service industry
  • Striving to offer the Affordable Care Act in Haywood County
  • Running for office to prioritize people’s lives over politics
  • The road to discovering she had breast cancer and how second opinions saved Andrea’s life
  • Winning over cancer and how this shined a new light on the importance of health care for her
  • How gut feeling and listening to your body can be a matter of life and death
  • The lessons Andrea lives by and her non-negotiables

 

Find out the details by listening to the full 3 Stores, 2 Cotton Gins, 1 Remarkable Life episode  on SpotifyStitcher and iTunes.

 

Quotes:

  • “I grew up seeing the importance of simply helping people. It’s instilled in me, it’s in my DNA. I feel it. I’m passionate about it.”
  • “Second opinions everybody. Second opinions. You don’t have to be just satisfied. You need to know about what’s going on in your body. If you’re not satisfied, you still need to ask questions.”
  • “You have to know your body. If something doesn’t seem right, please seek help.”
  • “You can have a lot of education but if you don’t have any common sense, you’re going to be in a heap of trouble.”
  • “You cannot be all things to all people at all times.”

I Voted Today

I Voted Today sticker

I voted today. No, it was not my first time, but this time was different. I have been voting since 1973 when the law first allowed 18 year olds to be part of this rite of passage. Almost without fail, every four years, every two years, every time there was an election of any sort, I cast a vote, so I was unprepared for the emotional state I found myself in today.

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