Sunday, September 23, 2018
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Wendy’s Window : “Sawubona”
By Wendy Gladney
Published May 17, 2018

Wendy Gladney (File Photo)

 

Sawubona Sentinel Family! “Sawubona” is a Zulu greeting that means I see you. I am so glad to be back! Many of us have twists and turns in our lives and I am no different. When I look back over my journey thus far, I’ve experienced many highs and a few lows, but I try not to focus on the negative and always aim for the high road whenever possible. Over a decade ago, during Mother’s Day Weekend, I began my column right here in this very paper. About a year ago, I took a leave of absence from my column and after a brief assignment where I served as Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Media Communications at Claremont Lincoln University (CLU), I have returned to my roots in the community as a coach, international consultant and columnist with the Sentinel.

Serving the community is my calling and I love every minute of it. Although I am grateful for the time I spent working with CLU, helping advance their mission, learning new skillsets and meeting new people, it also brought confirmation for me to my true calling in serving others on a global playing field. What else became clear is that in order for us to really be able to see others and to appreciate their contribution to this world, we have to see ourselves clearly and understand who we are. Over the years I have shared consistently with others that when we learn our meaning (what we are supposed to do) and develop our message (what we say or do) we will be able to truly live out our mission (purpose). To appreciate and see others, we have to also appreciate and see ourselves.

A friend, sister and colleague Barbara Perkins, a community leader and recent honoree for the 2018 Forgiving For Living Plus Awards, has hosted the “We See You Awards” for many years, where she highlights individuals that are doing amazing things in the community, but are often overlooked or stand in the shadow of others. Oftentimes, I think we overlook or don’t see the very people in our own lives because we are still coming to understand who we are. As I reflect on the meaning of the Zulu word Sawubona, how many of us take the time to really look at the people in our lives and appreciate who they are and what they do to make our communities better? I encourage you to stop and really take a look around and see the people that circle your life.

Last weekend families celebrated mothers everywhere. As a mother to two children, and now the grandmother of my first grandchild Grayson, I understand how important it is as matriarchs to stay faithful and committed to our families and community. Motherhood is sacred and if my grandmother was still alive her 116th birthday would have been this weekend. She was my rock and sheroe! To all the mothers that are determined to make a difference we need you, we appreciate you and we see you, “Sawubona” and all you do to make the world a better place.

To the Sentinel Community, thank you for being on this journey with me and I thank you for seeing me and listening to my voice. Just like the word Sankofa from the Twi language of Ghana (which means go back and get it) I have returned to my roots and I am grateful.

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org. Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.

Categories: Family | Lifestyle | News (Family) | Op-Ed | Opinion
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