January 1, 2009

I used to edit a newspaper and this is one of my all time favorite articles that I ever wrote. A lot of you have read it before, but I thought it was fitting for today :). Its from the first edition of the 2007 paper. THIS is a rough draft because I can’t find the one we used for print.. so if there are mistakes, please be kind. ūüôā LOVE YOU ALL!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

‘The greatest journey ever told: the trail of our DNA.”¬† I read the first paragraph or so of this¬†article¬†in the March issue of National Geographic and was immediately intrigued. The¬†article¬†tells the tale of our existence, scientifically, through the vessel of DNA. It tells how we are all descendants of two people and one place, the “mitochondrial Eve” and the “y chromosomal Adam.”¬†

¬†¬† “I’m going to write an¬†article¬†on that,” I said to myself and put the magazine in my binder. Fast forward ten months and here I am. While I’m overwhelmed with the number of topics I could spawn from this one short¬†article, indiscribable awe of my creator, being one, I’ll try to stay the course and speak of only one.¬†
¬†¬† “The human genetic code, or genome, is 99.9 percent identical throughout the world.” Ninety-nine point nine percent! Aside from being astonished at how much difference one tenth of a percent can hold, I can’t help but notice the inevitable. I am 99.9 percent exactly the same as every person I have ever come in contact with.¬†
¬†¬† How can point one percent mean so much? How can we have wars and genocide and racial lines and barriers and hate from one tenth of a percent. We are all, in fact, pretty much the same. Study after study has proven that not only are we genetically linked to the first “couple” but that we are ancestors of Africa. Isn’t that something? If you think about it, we are all African Americans, African Parisians, African Asians and African Iraqis. How does point one percent give birth to so much hate? Why do we let it? Why can’t we stop letting it? If point one percent of our genetic code can make such a difference, I think one person can make an equally impactful difference.¬†
¬†¬† The new year has begun, its time for new hope, new goals and, of course, new resolutions. I usually don’t make resolutions because I know I wont be very good at keeping them, so I will use my Lenton “give ups” as my example. As I look back over the past few years, no matter what I gave up, they all had the same effect. I came out unchanged and my Lenton abstinence had not done any good for anyone else. Last year I gave up… well,¬† lets just call it chocolate. I ended up cheating so a lot of good that one did. The year before I gave up coke. Too bad I forgot that I go to Mexico each year right smack dab in the middle of Lent. Mexico has the best coke! Its so sweet and so hard to resist. I didn’t cheat that year though! But in the end, what good did it do? Me giving up coke affected no one around me. Everyone else got to enjoy sweet Mexican coke for a mere ten pesos a pop while I watched. The year before I gave up chocolate and bread because I wanted to lose a few pounds. Forty days later I was not one pound lighter and again, my decision had affected no one.¬†
   This year I think I may make a resolution. I will not try to work out more, or read my Bible every day, or never go over the speed limit. I will fail those resolutions and lose before I begin. This year, I resolve to stop giving up. I resolve to take. I will take in a little perspective in my day to day. I will consider that one tenth of a percent difference in you and me, much like point one percent of anything else, extremely small and insignificant. What difference, really, does it make what color our eyes or cheeks are? I resolve to recognize that. Does it matter that your hair is curly and mine is straight? Does it matter that you speak Portuguese and I speak English? Does it matter? 
¬†¬† Come to think of it that point one percent difference lies almost entirely on the surface. Cut us open and we’re identical. We all have the same hopes and dreams. We all want to be loved. We all want acceptance. We all want success. We all want to belong to something. I love that we are different but I have fallen in love with the FACT that we are all pretty much the same.¬†
   This year I resolve to say hello to the Iraqi man on the street. I will let the black lady go ahead of me in line at Wal Mart. I will translate for the Hispanic guy at the gas station. 
¬†¬† I am not saying that there aren’t bad people and that we should just naively invite everyone we meet over for dinner. I’m saying we shouldn’t naively shy away to the other side of the street if the person coming up isn’t quite in our “income bracket.”¬† I’m saying we should invite “diverse” people to come sit with us at church. I resolve to TRY to look past color and status and age. I emphasize try because it is a behavior so embedded in all of us I know it will have to be a constant effort on my part. But I WILL try.
   I will try to work out more, and read my Bible every day and try not to speed. But I resolve to change the way I think. I resolve to make a difference in a life other than my own. I resolve to try. Thats all I can do. I hope you can too. 
   Happy new year. God Bless you and yours.


One Response to “resolve.”

  1. mattie Says:

    beautiful, lana! I wish i had the original.

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