Meet the New Year, Same as the Old Year…or is it?

Life continues, day follows day and we sleep and we wake and we go about our life doing the things we do. Lately, it seems like just accomplishing the simple things in life has gotten complicated. We have been living under the fear of a pandemic that seems to have no ending for going on 2 years now. I have even heard folks say, welcome to the new normal…like this is something that we are just going to have to grin and bear.

In 2020 we met Covid and in 2021 it hung over the world like the hand of doom, and here in 2022 it appears that its not going anywhere, no matter how we behave. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask…get the vaccine, don’t get the vaccine, the virus is doing what viruses do. It is mutating and carrying on, while we stagnate and stumble along in its wake. My mom went to the doctor with the ever scary upper respiratory symptoms and was encouraged to get the booster….Omicron is the current variant, but according to her doctor…he is hearing that another variant event is on the horizon. For those who have been going along to get along trying to wait it out to get back to normal, that statement should go a long way to convincing folks, that it’s not going to go away…the pandemic is now endemic and as a people we are going to have to learn to live with it even as it gets a little less deadly and more contagious. It’s what viruses do after all, it is how they survive and thrive.

Is 2022 going to be more of the same? Meet the new year…same as the old year? That, my friends is up to us. So many things that we have been leaving on the table and refusing to take responsibility for are still lying there waiting for us to pick them up and forge ahead. We are ultimately responsible for our lives. We need to pick up the tools we laid aside and begin using them to create a life worth living. We need to be critical thinkers, and question decisions that affect us directly. We need to make sure our children are in an environment which supports our core values and will learn to respect what made us the people we are and built the nation we are blessed to live in.

Have we forgotten that we are adults? We can think and we can reason and we can see what is right before us and we can make reasoned decisions based on cost benefit. We can weigh the risks of the decisions we make and we can bear the consequences of the decisions we make. When did we decide it would be better for some figure head in a far away place make critical life decisions for us individually? At no point in the history of the planet has this ever worked to the individual’s benefit.

We are individuals and at the same time we are social animals. We thrive in close knit communities with common values and goals. We need to embrace our community, support our localities, get involved in our local elections; because we are the grass roots and we live in a country that birthed a government that was of the people and for the people. Have we forgotten that we are The People that the government is supposed to answer to?

I see a building wave of change headed towards us. That change has not been totally defined, it is being fought over in the hearts and minds of us all. What will it be? Time will reveal that to us. While we go through the motions of our days, what we consume with our eyes and hear with our ears and take into our hearts and minds will determine the future of this great land, because our actions will evolve from what we consume. Not every entity in this great land is geared towards the betterment of its people. There is a ton of information out there, sifting through it and deciding what to believe is often beyond our ability because we can never know all the facts and we can never review and understand all the data being churned out. Not everyplace is like every other place either. What is good and right for a large metropolitan area may not make sense for a rural area.

Taking care of our community is the most important thing we can do. A healthy, thriving community with the support of other healthy thriving communities can support a locality. Thriving localities can support states. Thriving states can support a union. It all begins outside your front door with what you can affect directly. What you can affect directly will benefit most from all the positive energy and activity you can throw at it. Be kind to your neighbor. Buy from local businesses. Vote for local representatives, be a local representative! This year doesn’t have to be a repeat of the last. 2022 can be that year of change we all so desperately need.

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