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Gratitude for the Past Year

December 31, 2008 by  


 

By Elder George

This custom of this holiday season dictates that we look inward and assess how we lived our lives during the past year, and to then take vows to live better in the coming year. Whether at the year’s end or at any other time, periodic reviews of our life remind us to check the course we have set, and where we have strayed, to make the appropriate adjustments. Inner reflection also helps us to realize that we have much to be thankful for.

As I complete the 13th full month of writing for The Muslim Observer I am thankful for the opportunity given me to share my thoughts with a segment of the Muslim community. These thoughts have ranged from the education of children to the conflict in Iran with the emphasis on gender and patriarchy. I am also thankful to those of you who have written to me or to TMO expressing your views; every author wants to know what his readership thinks of his material. My thanks to the publisher, editor, and entire staff of The Muslim Observer for the opportunity to be a part of this fine newspaper  

Some have wondered why I write for a Muslim paper or why it has me as a columnist. I have been a weekly columnist for two Muslim, two African-American, two Caribbean, and one West African paper. The readership of these papers responds favorably to my message because they have a cultural heritage of extended family and the patriarchal structure necessary to maintain it.

Contrary to the perception that some readers might have, I receive considerable support from women and will take this opportunity to share a recent event illustrating this support.

On December 4th, unbeknownst to me at the time, two websites with large followings linked on to my essay Depression of Western Women. In the three day period from December 4-7, my website received 65,000 hits of which 10,000 were unique visits from 114 countries. Also, more than a few Emails came in expressing a favorable reader reaction to the essay. Most of the respondents were women, and only one expressed a negative view. All but one of the orders for my book came from women, which reflected their natural nurturing nature.

Most of the response to this event came from Western women, and as mentioned previously they do not comprise the niche market for my message; however, these women from England, Canada, and the United States see a deterioration of their culture (the number one health issue in these three countries is mental illness) and welcome someone addressing the condition. They tended to be middle-aged women; those who have been least propagandized by feminist ideology and who can see the havoc caused by the breakdown of family values. One woman from each of the three countries mentioned has volunteered to help promote my message—another example of the natural nurturing nature of women.

I am grateful for the growing support of my message from all quarters, and for the bit of good fortune that occurred on December 4th, which I pray will continue into the future. Thanks to all for your support during this past year—and where that was missing—for your tolerance, understanding and goodwill. Have a great 2009.

Elder George’s website is www.mensaction.net and he can be reached at 212-874-7900 ext. 1329.

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