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Chatterbox: New Year, every year


I love people and am always amazed at the resilience and stamina the human species displays. Sure, we have no choice, but there are those who give up, give out, or give in. While many bounce back, some sadly don’t. Still, here we are: the human race.

New Year’s Eve is that last moment before the first of the next, new, fresh year – renewed hope on so many levels. It’s the same single tick on the same world clock as all others every year – 31,556,925.9936 of them – that’s as close as I could get. Yet, most of us, somehow, see that first tick of a new year as specific to a clean slate, magically bringing us new chances to change, improve, and renew… a fresh start for many different reasons.

It’s a wonderful thing, purely psychological, but wonderful, to be able to use a single second in time to feel like we can begin again, no matter what, even though we can begin again anytime we want – again, and again.

Our species is an indomitable one. It’s one of the few things we agree on about ourselves. We pick ourselves up and keep moving. We sport great adaptability and perseverance in all their many parts.

What I like best is the human spirit for helping others and the ability to alter our understanding and perception so as to become more helpful, more beneficent, more oriented to fairness and more accepting. In a country like America, that’s really imperative because we are many peoples, as our coins say, “E Pluribus Unum” (From many – one.)

No other nation can say that and mean it in the context in which we can: From many kinds of people come one people, one nation. Somewhere along the evolution of this land mass, most likely because it was so large and largely unknown by the people of the Eastern Hemisphere, we became a nation unlike any other. Again, with the exception of our indigenous tribes, we were short enough in the tooth to become rich in diversity.

America accomplished things, which should have intimidated or escaped us, due to our diversity. We all brought something different to the table and were smart enough to learn from one another. Most of us admire that, recognize the strength and advantages of that, and see the joy resulting from embracing that. Most of us also realize that we have uniquely and immeasurably benefited from it.

Few of us would give up our membership to the exclusive club of being an American. We know how lucky and blessed we are to be here, regardless of where our family came from, or when. Most of us also love being a part of something only we can fully understand and share.

America’s year in 2019 will long be remembered as one filled with a very singular havoc and harm. We are being purposely pitted against one another nationally, facing diplomatic challenges and loss internationally, and dealing with planetary challenges which some intelligent people deny even as the water rises around them.

As 2020 approaches, with much instability, doubt and antipathy among us, many of us view the prognosis of social collision as the plan to divert us from our duty as responsible citizens and the unity that makes Americans strong. Others see it as something to be commandeered until their imagined enemies yield or until their personal agenda is fulfilled.

Most of us are just hopeful. We’re hopeful that those who seek power will use it to the good of all, that whoever seeks wealth will share it to the benefit of the planet and all her people. We’re hopeful that the reluctance to be enlightened will find and embrace illumination, that anyone who can embrace truth will have the courage to do it, and that everyone who can do the right thing for the greatest number of people will be empowered to do so.

The band, ironically named America, reminded us in song that Oz never did give anything to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have. Like him, we, too, have everything we need. We can fix our nation and this planet … but our only hope is to understand that every person and living thing counts, even if it hurts our ego (or our purse) to alter our perspective.

That’s a new year’s hope that no one can sanely argue with.

Here’s to a better year, a better nation, and a better planet. We can do it; we’re American and we’re not like anybody else.