Faith and Family: A Kwanzaa Story

kinara-kwanzaaThe seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa takes place between Christmas and New Year’s Day. A friend of mine, James, throws a big party on one of the days inviting family and friends to learn about the holiday and to share stories and ideas about the principle for that day. For the uninitiated, each day of Kwanzaa represents one principle that should be contemplated: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. After the party, James sent an email thanking the attendees, including this Kwanzaa Story of his family’s meditation on the principle “Faith.”


Yesterday was the last day of Kwanzaa, Imani or Faith. I want to share something special that happened last night as we discussed Faith.
Being Christian, we discussed our enduring belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and how we would continue to depend on Him in the coming year.
I also did  two demonstrations with my family.
  1. Demonstration 1:
    1. I told my son, Ju—, to ball up his fist as if he had an invisible quarter in it. This invisible quarter represented his faith that he could achieve his goal of being a successful businessman.  I then told my wife, M—,  and son, Ja—, to do the same thing and that their quarters also represented their faith that Ju— would achieve his goal of being a successful businessman. I did the same thing as my family.  We were all holding our faith in Ju— in our hands.
    2. I then told Ja— to open his hand.  Ja— reluctantly opened his hand.  I told Ju—, “Your brother has lost faith in you”.  I then  told M— to open her  hand as I opened mine.  I then told Ju—, “Now, Your Parents have lost faith in you”.  Ju— looked puzzled.  I asked Ju—, now that everyone has lost faith in you, does this mean that you can’t be successful?  He said, “I don’t know.”  To this I replied, “Son, look at your hand.  As long as you have faith in yourself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”
  2. Demonstration 2.
    1. I then told my son Ja— to do the invisible quarter thing.  His quarter represented his faith that he would be a successful writer one day.  We all balled our fist as we held our faith in Ja—.  I then told Ja— to open his hand.  I told him, “You have now lost faith in yourself”.  I told Ju— to open his hand.   I then told him to look at his parents hands. We still had our fists held high.  I told him that his Mother and Father  will always have faith in him, even when he loses his faith in himself.

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