By Charles Perosino
TOLLAND, Connecticut, U.S.A. -- Do you celebrate Kwanzaa? If you don’t, there is no need to worry since I don’t celebrate it either.
Even if you, like me, are not of African-American heritage, we can all learn something from the holiday of seven days that celebrates African-American heritage and history.
For each day of Kwanzaa there is a principle, and although mainly directed at those of African heritage in America, each principle is something that everyone can learn from, every day of our lives.
This time of the year is a great time to learn from the past and look toward the future during the seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa that began on December 26.
The first principle of Kwanzaa, dedicated to the first day is Umoja, or unity. Every family, every nation, every religion, and every race live life together on this planet and should strive to come and stay together during times of glory and hardship.
Kujichagulia, or self-determination is the second principle of Kwanzaa. You are the only person that truly knows how you feel, and need to speak up and define yourself in order to spread the word to others.
Ujima, or collective work and responsibility, is dedicated to the third day of Kwanzaa. As a world community, we need to solve our problems together and not create more strife for the human race.
The fourth principle of Kwanzaa, Ujamaa, celebrated on the fourth day, is dedicated to cooperative economics. When you are a business owner, you can profit in many ways from cooperation with the community.
Nia, or purpose, is the fifth principle of Kwanzaa. In our daily lives, we must ask ourselves what our purpose is, and what it is to be successful and remembered for being a wonderful human being.
Kuumba, or creativity, is what the sixth and second to last day of Kwanzaa is about. Every day, we must think and act creatively, and make sure that we leave the world a better place than when we got here.
Imani is the final day of the celebration of principles. Faith is the focus. Even if you are not religious, you can apply believing in others to help you through your struggles, as well as their faith in you for when they need help.
Kwanzaa ends on New Year’s Day, when empty resolutions are made all across the world.
Be realistic, and stick to your commitment to the world and everyone around you when you make real resolutions, and be sure to always remember the seven principles of Kwanzaa.