Post-Kwanzaa Celebration: How to Practice Your Kwanzaa Commitments
As has been said elsewhere, daily practice of the Seven Principles was one of the primary reasons for the creation of Kwanzaa. Thus, this is the week to review and to set in motion a plan for monitoring weekly the practice of these guiding seven principles.
That said, the first step is to review all seven principles and the commitments you and your family members, significant others, friends, and/or students have made around the seven principles.
Next, evaluate your commitments to ensure that they are: 1) concrete and focused around the core concept of the principle (e.g., Unity Commitment- Daily, I will greet my parents/caregiver warmly and convey and reinforce my appreciation and love for them), 2) require daily or weekly effort, 3) are relational focused (are connected to family members/or students), and 4) are measurable (quantifiable).
Third, place your Kwanzaa commitments into two categories- primary and secondary. Identify and select the top three commitments which are your priority commitments for the year. This does not mean that you ignore the others. It is simply a recognition that it is easier and more effective to concentrate on three commitments rather than seven. Too, each principle is part of an interlocking system. Thus, deep and substantive practice of Unity has a material impact on the Collective Work & Responsibility and Cooperative Economics principles. And, the Faith principle is fundamental to achieving all of the principles.
Fourth, establish a Kwanzaa journal to identify and monitor your progress in practicing each of your primary and secondary commitments. This is indispensible to keeping current and to sustaining your commitment.
Fifth, establish a day during the week or month when you will review as a family or class progress in observing the practice of the Seven Principle.
Seven, focus on what has been achieved, rather than commitments not met. Hence, if a child, youth, or adult shows only one day of practice, discuss and recognize that one day.