Humanity Is Evergreen
With a magazine issue bearing the moniker “The Sophisticate,” one might think that its sole purpose was to showcase the many accoutrements that accompany a life of privilege, success, and elite bloodlines. But what I’ve found over the years is that elegance, style, and sophistication have nothing to do with money, education, or even opportunity, but rather it has everything to do with humility and quality of character. As I pen this note on the same morning that I awoke to news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas—the worst in our nation’s history—I wonder how much more will humanity suffer. All this is on the heels of the devastation that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria unleashed on Houston, the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, and more, and the death and destruction that two cataclysmic earthquakes brought about in Mexico. Throw in the political shenanigans going on in Washington, D.C., and one might wonder if it isn’t time for us all to get down on our knees and pray for mercy.
Nurturing goodness in ourselves and fostering love toward each other will make way for greater goodness in humanity. As with so many groundswell changes, it starts with a single first step, and you just keep walking. To say we are a divided nation on so many fronts is an understatement, but I have to attest to the fact that I personally know of good people using their respective spheres of influences to do a lot of good. And they need to be heralded boldly above the mayhem that is unfolding around us. I can’t help but believe that people are inherently courageous, strong, and decent; they are the everyman and everywoman found right at home in our own communities. Here are a few examples: Former VIE cover girl Laurie Hood, founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge (www.alaqua.com), has made amazing inroads for change against animal cruelty over the past ten years. Tiffanie Nelson, founder and executive director of Food For Thought Outreach (fftfl.org), initiated change after learning that there were local children who did not have enough to eat. And Tricia Carlisle-Northcutt founded Children’s Volunteer Health Network (www.cvhnkids.org) in order to promote good health and build self-esteem in local children who could not afford proper dental care. These three women did the unimaginable and have made a huge difference in the lives of the people of their communities. They exemplify humanity’s passion and kindness! This is but a small sampling of everyday people doing extraordinary things out of love and compassion to make a positive change in the world.
Celebrities and dignitaries the world over pour good into their spheres of influence. A perfect example is Prince Harry’s recent 2017 Invictus Games, held in Toronto, Canada: this international sporting event supports wounded and ill servicemen and servicewomen and inspires recovery. Invictus is Latin for “unconquered”—a reminder that we all need a fighting spirit, tenacity, and fortitude, especially given the world stage as it is playing out at the moment. Watching so many of these injured warriors overcome the adversities that life has dealt them should be all that is needed to stir up gratitude and the will to lead a meaningful life.
As a native Bostonian, I am excited to present the travel spotlight feature on my hometown in this issue. Boston has a flavor all its own—it has a small-town feel but all the benefits of a large city. The culture of the town and surrounding region embraces exceptionalism and exhibits a strong independence and will to survive. It’s no wonder it is the birthplace of our country’s independence! From celebrating its vibrant city life and winning sports teams to overcoming cowardly acts of terror, passions continue to shine bright in Boston today. And, speaking of the winning spirit, power couple Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen lead the charge as ambassadors of good and sophistication. The NFL star quarterback and top supermodel are inspiring examples of strength, integrity, and class, having given substantially of their time, passion, and financial support to innumerable charitable efforts: Brady with his support of Best Buddies International, which creates opportunities for people with disabilities and helps them reach their fullest potentials; and Bündchen—an unstoppable force it would seem—with Save the Children, the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations Environment Programme, and her own Luz Foundation, which works to improve children’s lives through education, nutrition, and inspiration. I hope you enjoy “Boston! The Center of the Universe” penned by Nicholas S. Racheotes. His own love of the city shines bright in this brilliantly written and witty article!
So, for goodness sake, please share yourself and your love, kindness, time, money, and talents with the world. We, the everyman and everywoman, can do amazing things!
— V —