JoeThorntonHappy September, my friends! Are you ready for change?

We are experiencing enormous changes that will impact every aspect of our lives. Obviously, we’re soon to be headed from summer into fall. That seasonal change is just around the corner. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

There are some other changes we’re going through as well. We have recently lost a cultural icon, Miss Aretha Franklin.

Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin was, for most of us, a major part of the soundtrack of our lives. She made us dance and sing from the sixties all the way till this decade. She has sung at the inaugurations of Presidents, she has entertained royalty and she has always stood for women, people of color and for everyone with a strong, pure and loving heart.

Aretha taught us to RESPECT ourselves, to stand tall and to have the strength to put our arms around each other. She taught us to sing from our souls and to live with courage. She was always ahead of her time.

Aretha.jpgAretha came up in a time when blacks, and especially black women, were considered nothing. But she had conviction and courage and lived her life the way she wanted to live it, on her own terms. And by seeing how she treated others, how she insisted upon being treated herself, she showed us all that we can do and we can be anything.

With the passing of the Queen of Soul, we are charged with moving from having and relying upon such powerful people and role models to becoming role modes ourselves. Now, more than ever, we need to stand tall. Stand for what is right. Stand with an open heart and a loud voice. We must now carry the legacy of RESPECT and live it.

autumn leavesI think it’s fitting that we make that transition when our world is about to make a transition of its own. The days will become cooler and the nights crisper. The leaves will begin to change color and blaze in the trees before decorating our paths. Earthy colors will take over our landscape just as the smell of spices will engulf us and whet our appetites.

The flowers and plantings of summer are soon to die back; the grass and trees will go dormant as we transition into the glories of fall. We’re entering a time when the world rests and prepares itself again for a new season of growth.

To many we’re coming up on the season of Pumpkin Spice flavored everything. But to me, we’re coming up to a time of beauty, sweetness and heart. I love the cooler temperatures. I love to snuggle under a handmade afghan and drink hot cocoa or apple cider. All the bounties of harvest, both physical and spiritual will be all around us.autumn pathway

Before fall actually arrives, let’s all take a good look around at the wonders and colors of summer. Let’s go for one last swim or barbecue outside. Let’s make the most of the seemingly carefree summer. And lets prepare to take that step into a transitioning world full of joy and beauty and change.

And let’s take that step into a new season with pride and dignity. Let’s take that step with love for our fellow man. Let’s live with RESPECT. Click to Tweet

Joe Thornton, Great Conjunction Co-Founder

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