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  • Amy Clark

HOPE for 2021

Happy New Year to all! It has been a few months now since our Circles have convened via Zoom. Happily, we came together for the start of the new year and the topic was HOPE.( It's important to note before reading that our Circles met the day before the riots at the US Capital. We generally attempt to keep political discussions outside our boundaries.)

What do we hope for ourselves, our families and the world at large in 2021 with the prospect of COVID-19 in our rear view mirror?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Hope as 1: to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen 2: to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.

The ladies expressed they looked forward to and hoped for:

* Being able to get together in person with family and loved ones. We don't realize how we take for granted the importance of physically sharing space and physical touch with our loved ones as essential for overall health and well being

* Physically getting back into our communities to serve and support one another

* Stepping away from living in survival mode feeling like we've got a gun to our heads, so we can be free to breathe easily again

* Living slower paced, simpler and kinder lives. Quarantined lifestyle has taught us that living on a hamster wheel is a much tougher way to live

* The introspection, self- exploration and solitude resulting from so much time at home will give us a new perspective on how to create a better world and ultimately bringing out the best in all of us.

* Getting through the election period without violence and desiring that people have learned to come together as Americans instead of two separate political parties

* People making an effort to be more heart based vs greedy in their actions and thinking. We are all humans sharing the same planet

* Making major headway in eradicating racism in our country

* An absolute understanding that living in the present moment is "where it's at, it's what we have, and it's our reality." It's the foundation from which we can step off to create a better world for ourselves and others

* Experiencing the manifestations of a silver lining for our kids who, as a result of this pandemic, have had to take lessons from the school of hard knocks. They've had to quickly learn to: make big decisions not usual for this time in their lives; cope with a whole lot of disappointments; truly understand how to be flexible; face newer and bigger fears and comprehend how change is the only constant in our lives

* A reawakening and opening of people's minds, which is often the byproduct of such darkness and stress, to rethink how to better reshape our future

* People re-connecting and remembering what it means to be human and tolerant ---recognizing the struggles for others and gaining a new understanding of mutual respect

* Creating a new and better future instead of falling back to a "hedonistic Mardi

Gras" when things return to "a new normal."

* Moving forward with our efforts of understanding and implementing better social justice ideals and practices

* Tuning in and taking better care of our own health and the health of the planet

* Being able to get back to traveling

* People ceasing to hide bad behaviors from behind their masks

* All people truly understanding that wearing a mask is the "respectful" thing to do to help others stay safe

I'm sure this list is just the tip of the iceberg when looking at the hopes for our individual and collective futures. What would you like to add? We'd really appreciate your wisdom and insights.

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