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Community Comment: The hope for a greater year ahead

Tomorrow, when hindsight is 2020, it would be natural to look forward to the promise of what a new year will look like
Mike's column

Tomorrow, when hindsight is 2020, it would be natural to look forward to the promise of what a new year will look like.

While I share the optimism of what a new year will eventually bring and the possibility of “normal” down the road in 2021, I am somewhat melancholic at the same time. I feel the need to change things up a little this year.

At New Years, I generally reflect with the aim to make changes that would benefit me and my family. Never resolutions per se, but rather, a set of guidelines to pay attention to in some new way.

This year will be different for me in that my guidelines will be expanded because I feel a broader recognition that life is fleeting and I would be remiss to take it for granted given what we have all been exposed to in 2020. I am telling myself now, that this is not a cliche, but a recognition that our time here really is too short, and that now is the time to act rather than be complacent.

The innovations that have been developed as a result of COVID-19 are just starting to peek from beneath the blanket of doom and I want to take a bigger role in adding value to my life by helping my society in a larger and more meaningful way than I have in the past.

My mother in-law has not been out of her care-home building since March. When I pause to reflect on how that would make me feel if I were in her situation, I become very agitated and depressed.

I have the same reaction when I look to the plight of young people who are struggling to find places to live. Prospects for finding entry level jobs in the service industry while attending virtual university are bleak. I can only imagine how they feel and regard the future. Do they have hope or are they caught in a swirling eddy of despair, with no branch to grasp to pull themselves out of the carnage?

I have the sense that people will likely come together in very different ways to help one another and offer hope for those who need it, this year and beyond.

The stakes will be great for many in the coming years but I believe that the will to assist will be far greater.

Living within a state of fear and hopelessness is no way to live for anyone, but I am convinced that people and governments will channel energies in new ways to ensure that we can all feel the joy and promise of living rather than an existence fraught with anxiety.

Have a wonderful and meaningful 2021.

Mike Schneider is founder of Project Pickle and likes to write about growing, cooking and eating food. He is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution ambassador.