It's the LITTLE THINGS

 Michael G. Sarafa, special to the Chaldean News

Michael G. Sarafa, special to the Chaldean News

After 15 years and over 200 written columns and articles, I’ve decided to move away from opinion pieces and controversial topics and cover the little things in life. My new column will be entitled It’s the little things...

I took this occasion to review many of my past columns which proved to be a trip down memory lane. I wrote much about politics and religion, often at the expense of making my partners and me a target of those less open to intelligent discourse. I famously called for Pope Benedict to resign which caused more trouble than it was worth despite turning out to be very prescient. I wrote extensively about Bishop Ibrahim’s leadership of our Detroit Diocese, Mar Delly’s ordination as Cardinal and much more. I had the unique honor of interviewing two prominent American Cardinals — Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and Cardinal Tim Dolan of New Jersey —and, very early on, Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

I had much to say about the situation in Iraq over the years as well, including a series of inept leaders and the tightening noose on Iraq by Iran. I am reminded now that the precursor to U.S. second Iraq invasion was the 9/11 terrorist attacks which history has proven to be a total non-sequitur. I opined heavily over the years on politics and elections, including how much elections do matter. Again, just this past month, we’ve seen that this remains true.

I wrote about a chance encounter with a Holocaust survivor in East Lansing and a fascinating trip I took to Cuba before the Cuban opening. I took liberties with my pen to advocate for Shenandoah when it was struggling and to provide the community with updates and explanations about Bank of Michigan during my time as CEO.

While I tried to veer away from writing about personal issues, I did take the opportunity to talk about my late father in one June issue for Father’s Day. I also wrote an article about Dad’s and Daughters which drew heavily on my own experience with my daughters. While my oldest child was a toddler when we started the Chaldean News, she grew to pen several articles herself as a high school and college student. After the Newton massacre, I reminded everyone to hug their children a little more tightly from then on. The world had changed.

I was an early partisan against Kwame Kilpatrick whose character flaws were evident to me but not so much to many of the City’s movers and shakers. More recently, I have used this column to decry what I believe is also a very flawed presidency. Among other unprecedented things, Trump’s bad hombre dragnet snagged hundreds of Chaldeans who had already served their time and were living productive lives in the United States.

I wrote several obituaries for people very close to me or that I admired from afar. These include my Uncle, Michael George, James Jonna, an early pioneer, John Loussia whom we lost prematurely and Fred Delly, who was murdered going to work one summer day in Detroit. The column also paid a postmortem tribute to Jim Bannon, the former Deputy Chief of Police in Detroit during the Coleman Young years.

I’m sure I will be moved to cover similar topics and events in the future. But going forward into 2019, I want to cover the little things in life. These might include some acts of kindnesses, happenings in nature, important world news that doesn’t make headlines and more. As I grow older, my appreciation for the little things has grown immensely.

As we enter the Advent and Christmas season, we have the great- est example of the importance of little things in the Baby Jesus who came to earth in smallness and humility. Pope Francis reminds us that a Christian life is not one of epoch-making gestures but small daily actions— “a witness that begins in the morning...”

I will endeavor to shine a light on these daily actions of others. I could use your help. If you come across any little things that might be worth mentioning, let me know. I would love to write about it.

Merry Christmas to all.