Today marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt described, December 7, 1941 is “a date which will live in infamy.” It is a date which instantly brings to mind memories for those who lived through that day. Younger generations have November 22, 1963 or September 11, 2001 as dates which made indelible marks on their lives. All you have to do is mention the date, and people can recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news of the tragedies that occurred on those dates.
Anniversaries mark important personal and cultural events that can bring either fond or, as Roosevelt describes, infamous memories. We celebrate anniversaries to recognize a birth or a death, the first day of employment or retirement, the beginning or ending of relationships, the beginning or ending of wars, and the formation of organizations, communities, cities, states and nations.
Anniversaries not only mark important dates, they are important for our growth, if we look back on how that event helped us develop as a person, organization, community, or nation. Often times, the most difficult circumstances have led to the greatest personal growth.
You may not have been alive on December 7, 1941 for this date to be important to your past. However, you can mark today, December 7, 2016 as a date where you make a choice for personal growth and development. When you look forward to December 7, 2017, where do you want to be? What will you have accomplished? What obstacles will you have overcome? And, how will you have changed personally to make it happen?
Make December 7th, not a date that will live in infamy, rather, a date where you made a conscious choice for something good. Choose that for yourself today, and mark your calendar to celebrate it, 365 days from now.