Happy Holidays: A Special Note From Vizion President & CEO Mark Jackson

In my lifetime, I have been blessed by having developed friends of all shapes and sizes. I have Jewish friends, Christian friends, Muslim friends, agnostic friends and atheist friends. Truly, having a diverse set of friends has enriched my belief system and, I think, made me a better – more compassionate – person. Growing up in Texas, I was fortunate enough to develop a very close bond with my best friend and his family, who happen to be from India.

Now, I live in Kansas in a very nice suburban area, but the friendships that I’ve developed living here do not reflect as much diversity as I had come to know from living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Los Angeles or my travels.

In February of this year, I was shocked to learn a hate crime took place just down the street from where I live. A crazed man apparently told a man, of Indian origin, to “get out of my country”, before shooting and killing him.

In recent years, we have seen growth in hate crimes. It is a sad, poor reflection of our national personality.
Why am I talking about this within a post meant to commemorate the season? For Christians (which I am), this is a time to be grateful for God’s love and to remember the hope that Jesus’ birth brought to the world.

Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins. (source: http://www1.cbn.com/devotions/real-meaning-christmas)

Truth. Love. Hope.

Despite the growth of hate crimes, I remain hopeful. I believe that most people are kind-hearted, loving individuals. I believe that this season gives us all the opportunity to take inventory of our belief-systems and think about what we can do to make the world a better place.

Every Christmas, we go to Candlelight service in which one person with one candle, lights one more. And so on, until the entire chapel is glowing bright. This is to represent the “light” that is Jesus.

Whatever your political or religious affiliation (if any), we must do more to spread the gospel of Truth, Love and Hope. These are things that can bring us together. One by one, we can make a difference. We can spread Truth, Love and Hope. This is my wish for all of you this holiday season.

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