By Amanda Madenberg
Alison Tair may appear to be a typical junior in high school once first period begins, taking notes and studying similarly to her peers. However, for Tair, 6:30 a.m. to 6:35 a.m. are spent on a routine that fuels her motives, actions, and mindset throughout her day.
Tair reads from a daily devotional book every morning and every night in order to develop a closer connection to God and Christianity. Tair’s New Year’s resolution to do just that mostly motivates these sessions; however, Tair has remained grounded by her religious beliefs for several years.
The belief that “God always has a bigger plan for people” has helped Tair cope with family obstacles in her past. Four years ago, Tair’s uncle Jeff got into a car accident that was fortunately not fatal but certainly debilitating: Uncle Jeff can no longer communicate well. Since the accident, Tair’s first cousin Claudia moved in with her immediate family, and her family’s dynamic has never been the same. Tair explained that “Uncle Jeff had quickly gone from a powerful figure to someone vulnerable in Claudia’s life,” and this has changed the way Tair views her own dad.
Tair describes her dad as someone who is never willing to let his protective guard down, especially since Uncle Jeff’s accident. “When my dad travels for business, I’m worried that the same thing will happen to him that happened to Uncle Jeff,” Tair admitted. Although Tair’s dad is almost always busy with work, their family prioritizes going to church every Sunday and spending time together at a monthly dinner. Christianity is one thing that binds this family together, regardless of where in the world they are. “Although my dad doesn’t show his emotions very often, I know he loves me because he opens up to me through our religion,” Tair said.
Because of what happened to Tair’s Uncle, “I learned to appreciate life a lot more,” Tair said. Tair constantly thanks God for the family she has, and she knows that she is lucky for her siblings, parents and cousins. In the midst of a crazy high school life, Tair finds comfort in Christianity; “It’s like a sigh of relief,” she said. Religion reassures Tair that her life will be okay, whether she is worried about the next SAT or annoyed about a test in school. “Even if I am having a crappy day, God still gives me the ability to wake up in the morning and live,” Tair explained.
Tair’s spirituality has also helped shape her attitude concerning herself and school in addition to her family. When Tair first moved to Great Neck from her former home in Bayside during her freshmen year in high school, she found adjusting to the community difficult at first. Tair was obsessed with what other people thought of her while she tried to fit in with new kids. However, as Tair strengthened her ties to Christianity, she said that “God has let me know that I don’t have to care what other people think [of me].” Tair is more confident in herself because of a stronger bond with a greater force.
Because of Tair’s New Year’s resolution for 2016, she has religiously (no pun intended) read her Daily Devotional book without missing a day. Especially at night, the book’s encouraging words and meditations help her to collect her thoughts. Although Uncle Jeff’s incident changed her family’s dynamic and shifted her viewpoint of her own father, perhaps there is some truth in the statement that “everything happens for a reason.” Tair’s religion unites her with her family and her dad now and always, as she predicts that she will always continue trying to bond with God and Christianity.