When I was a kid growing up in Mississippi, I loved SweeTarts. A sweet and sour candy that left a tangy taste in your mouth. We all got them for the holidays because there were eight of us kids, and you got a lot in the packs—at least it seemed that way. For me, even though I knew what I had in my hands, SweeTarts, I never knew what I would experience in my mouth first—if I would taste sweet or sour. If it landed in my mouth on the sour side, oh boy, it was going to give me a sensation of “lockjaw” and I would have to endure that until the sweetness broke through and overpowered the sour taste. My children loved SweeTarts too when they were kids. Do you remember?
2020 has reminded me of the sour side that gave me that lockjaw sensation—with covid-19, politics, the economy, the loss of so many lives and businesses, and massive uncertainty. But I know that there’s a sweet side in there too, somewhere—a side that will soon offer us a taste of sweet relief, as long as we don’t give in to the sour side. What we have to remember is this: Sweet and sour both are in us, and also in the world; and because of this we get to choose what we will focus on.
Relief is a feeling of ease from grief or trouble. For this holiday and festive season, it is my constant prayer for all of us, globally, and especially at home in America, that we may start to experience some relief and contentment within ourselves and within our own homes. Some assurance that we will be safe and protected in our country—to be glad and proud that we are Americans, to be inspired by the knowledge that we are creative, powerful and empowering human beings, who have no race or religion given to us by God. Relief is the ability to uplift ourselves and each other, to offer empathy, aid and assistance in a way that ensures a loving, collaborative reset for all of us. We all deserve some kind of reset after this year. Don’t you think so? Relief is receiving, allowing and offering the support our families, friends and neighbors may need in order to experience a bright new twinkle in their eye that may lead to happiness, joy and the great bounce-back that only love and excellence can bring.
To me, this curated, created holiday issue of Flourish Digital Magazine will offer just that: the sweet side. And in my mind, with my spirit-of-play way of thinking and my glass-overflowing mentality, I genuinely believe that in the essence of who we are innately, we will prevail and experience the “sweet side” again soon.
Thank you and happy holidays to all of you, and to my family and friends and the entire Flourish Digital Magazine team—including Seane Shaw, Sadiyah Adams and Janis Hunt Johnson.