Braille Monitor                  March 2022

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What's Love Got to Do with It?

by Jennifer Bazer

Jennifer BazerFrom the Editor: The Positive Note is a weekly update by NFB of South Carolina President Jennifer Bazer that has been published at least 1,853 times, this piece coming from number 1,853. In each issue is a note from the president, and Jennifer Bazer writes some good ones. Given this was published on Valentine’s Day and we are focused on love every day of the year, I thought it a splendid addition. Here is what she says:

The values of our NFB brand represent the essence of us, the National Federation of the Blind, the code that carries the brand—the guiding principles upon which we make our decisions. They are the heart and soul of the organization. Our core values are courage, respect, full participation, democracy, collective action, and love. We define love in our core values this way: The NFB provides a loving, supportive, and encouraging family that shares in the challenges and triumphs of our blind brothers and sisters. This deeply held faith in one another sustains members during times of challenge and cheers on individual and collective successes. Love is the feeling that permeates our organization and pushes us to expect the best from each other.

Today is Valentine’s Day, the day we think of love, the day that more flowers are bought than on any other holiday, the day we most associate red with love. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, let’s focus on love in our Federation family. Let’s exemplify love in everything we do in the Federation and beyond.

Some may feel it is hard to love someone who disagrees with our viewpoint. Some may find it hard to love those who turn their backs on us. Some may find it challenging to love those who lash out with their words in anger or hurt. Some find it impossible to love those who spread rumors or say unkind things about us. Some people may find it uninviting to love those who talk behind our backs without saying what they mean directly to us. Some people may wish to carry a burden of unforgiveness on their shoulders rather than carrying love in their hearts. Well, it is not impossible to forgive those who may have hurt us. Love can help us forgive, bring peace, foster understanding, and strengthen our connections with each other.

On this Valentine’s Day, let’s adopt the pinks and reds as our NFB colors to show our love for our Federation Family. Let’s remember the reason we are family. We have come together because we all want a brighter future, legal and social equality, public awareness, and respect as blind people. We have more things in common than we will ever have differences. When in doubt, pull out your NFB coin and read the Braille; it spells “together.” That is who we are: a group of like-minded, capable, passionate, enthusiastic, and driven blind people. When we clash with each other, it is because we care so much about the outcome. We just differ sometimes about the best path to get us there. We should do our best to remember that we are all doing what we think is right.

Let’s strive each day to live and to exemplify and encourage our brothers and sisters to keep uppermost our NFB promise. Together with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality. Let’s go build the National Federation of the Blind with love this Valentine’s Day and every day thereafter!

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