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Looking back or looking forward

Looking back or looking forward

We are trained — perhaps it's in our DNA — to react to the past. We're told we're foolish to ignore it... but at the same time, we need to move on. Time heals all wounds, and so on. It's a bit of a teeter-totter. Finding that balance point can be a challenge.

For many, 2020 was a rough year. Pandemics, job losses, floods, fires ... perhaps 'tragic year' is a better way to put it. For those, the hope is that 2021 will be better. They will look forward with expectations that bad things will improve and good things will continue, or get better.

That is the hope.

Others, however, don't put a lot of merit into 'hope.' They aren't cynics — they just don't blame the past, or think the future holds brighter beams of sunshine. They take the days as they come, moving forward the best way they know how. They embrace the good and cope with the bad as it comes.

Yes, for many, 2020 was a rough year ... but for many, it was a year of wonder and beauty. New births brought joy and wonder to them on any given day, engagements, new jobs and simple, daily blessings guided them through what was a minefield of troubles on any given day for others. 

It is what we make it. 

That is a very neutral and generalized statement, maybe even a gross under-statement to some as a way to explain a world that seems to tilt and twist to extremes far more today than ever before. But the essence of the statement, the core, holds true. It has to. The years roll on, with or without us. We are the ones who have to find the joy, the happiness, or at the very least, the reasoning behind the troubles.

Our world is gripped by tragedy, love, wonder, anger ... every year. It's what we do about it that matters. Take it in stride, react with rage, ignore it, blame the past, hope it gets better in the future, learn from others...

There's no punctuation at the end of the phrase at the very beginning of this article.  

Looking back or looking forward

No question mark, no period — it's intentional. 

It's that time of the year ... perhaps better put, the time of two years ... the end of one and beginning of another, where many people plan for the next year based on the actions, opportunities and challenges of the previous one. Whether you look back or forward, it's not a choice — so no question mark. It's also not a call to action with a definitive goal, therefore no end of sentence full-stop or exclamation point. The year doesn't matter. It's what we do with it that matters.