Aleksandra Rebic / November 2016
In this season of paying extra special attention to one's blessings and being grateful for them, I'm sending out this personal note from the heart.
I have very few virtues, but the one I'm most proud of is my ability to recognize the blessings God has bestowed upon me and my life, and the desire and willingness to express and communicate my gratitude without hesitation, throughout the entire year, because "Thankfulness" should never be relegated to a day or a season in time.
As an American Serb, born in Chicago, Illinois to Serbian immigrants, I've been especially blessed and have felt that way even through the most trying times, when all of us Serbs in the Diaspora, both immigrants and native born, have had to endure demonization and systematic propaganda campaigns aimed at vilifying or diminishing us as a people. I know very well who we really are, the endurance, perseverance, and heroism we are capable of, and how generous and good our hearts can be.
These are some of the things I'm most thankful for:
I was born in America, raised in America, and have lived in America all of my life. As a huge bonus, I grew up being raised with Serbian Orthodox traditions and enlightenment about the vast and magnificent history of the Serbian people. I grew up being raised by people who were fiercely patriotic Americans, who assimilated beautifully and elegantly, but who NEVER forgot where they came from and the journey all along the way. They survived WWII in their homeland, and I was fortunate to have been able to hear the stories firsthand, stories I never, ever get tired of, that for me read like a great movie that I want to see over and over again.
I was raised with understanding and appreciating from early childhood who General Draza Mihailovich and his Chetniks were and are, and this has only been magnified with the passage of time and my involvement with educating others and inspiring them to share in my understanding and appreciation of these true heroes of the 20th Century. Getting to meet and spend time with the Chetnik immigrants that I met and came to know over the years has been a GIFT. So many have passed over the years, and I miss their company and just being around them. Making sure their legacy continues into perpetuity is an obligation that I very gladly and willingly want to fulfill to the end of my days. It matters, because THEY mattered.
I'm so grateful for the Internet and Social Media and their capacity to make fulfilling this obligation possible. I've met people, reached people, and been in contact with people I may never have had the pleasure of crossing paths with because of the enormous capabilities that technology affords us. People who have passed on continue to LIVE on, in large part due these capabilities, and that is one of the reasons that for me, the Internet and Social Media will always be "A Wonderful Thing".
In this season of Giving and Gratitude, may your season be full of blessings and joy, and let me say THANK YOU to all of you who have in one way or another touched my life and helped me or made me a better person. Please know, that I am grateful to you in every season, ALWAYS.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org