It has been quite a year--and a year to remember with milestones, challenges and setbacks. As we all await the arrival of Santa, for me the privilege to have been able to serve and to make a difference was at the heart of what has admittedly at times has been a profound year. I have had the pleasure to reflect upon all of them throughout my notations here in my Corner.
The holiday season began for me in earnest on November 17 when I had the pleasure to be present as the Annual Thanksgiving Meal Distribution was done at our City's Local Catholic Parish: St. Timothy's. I subsequently had the pleasure to be at Camp Pendelton during the Annual Thanksgiving Meal Distribution sponsored by San Clemente Military Family Outreach with the Boy Scouts of Troop 772--The Trailmasters that I have had the pleasure to be a part of for the past 5 years:
It has also been quite a year for me as I continued the active and engaging work on Social Media in support of the Daily Outsider and of course my own active efforts on Social Change efforts--with a primary focus on being supportive of the work done by Donate-A-Photo-An initiative sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Just like many throughout the World, I was disappointed about recent disclosures that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the presence of Asbestos in Baby Powder. However, it still did not negate this very noble initiative that allowed ordinary faces like I to make a difference. I decided to "go dark" on Social Media through next year with a final contribution to Donate A Photo with a beautiful image I captured of a Service Dog for a US Marine. I was also taken aback a bit by recent disclosures on practices by Facebook which was of profound concern--It was quite a shock when I saw Walt Mossberg noted that he would be leaving Facebook & Instagram--although he would continue to remain on Twitter. It is also of profound concern how Russia continued to manipulate the Social Media space. What is critical is a profound sense of responsibility--for me it has been to stay in touch with a wider circle of friends, advocate for social justice and freedom and yes, to learn. I was quite appreciative that I was able to catch my year on Facebook as I worked to wind down the year:
I also began a periodic concerted effort (which I hope to build upon for 2019) on this hashtag #WeWillReClaimIran as protests continue in light of the profound tragic realities on the ground right now. I also had the pleasure to be supportive of and advocate for the fate of Jamal Khashoggi both throughout our properties and personally as it was great to be witness to him being named Time Person of the Year. Karen Attiah from the Washington noted this as I also reminded her that Iranian lives matter as well:
I wish Jamal #Khashoggi were here to see what his life and death has accomplished.— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) December 11, 2018
Ultimately his work was about telling us all that ordinary Saudi lives matter.
That Saudi women's lives matter.
That Yemeni lives matter.
That Arab lives matter.https://t.co/YoeQs0rbjH
I also captured this which was heart-breaking especially in light of the ruling from a US Federal Judge on the status of the Affordable Care Act--I made it a point of releasing this and tagging President Trump to underscore how healthcare should be a right--not a privilege--something I look forward to assessing throughout 2019:
I also had a sort of a Farewell Tour as I visited The Marine Families of the 1st Regiment/4th Marines and the USS Stocksdale with members of the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee as my term concluded:
As the team at the Daily Outsider has gone dark throughout all its' properties through the end of the year, I was glad to see that they've seen to it that the live broadcast PODS are available as the Twitter Handle (@ordinaryfaces) will be curated. I'll be helping as schedule permits as I will be "off the grid" myself as I assess 2019 before picking things up.
As I personally "go dark" until the end of the year, I thought this from the great Lady Gaga from A Star is Born was quite appropriate as I also remembered:
Onward to 2019 as I continue to be optimistic and upbeat....Happy Holidays to all!!!