Tough to Find Optimism for 2013 After the Way 2012 Ended

A new year usually brings resolutions and positive outlooks for the coming 12 months. However, the way 2012 came to a close, it’s harder to be positive about the year ahead. It’s a struggle to find any sense of reason.

I awoke Christmas morning not to thoughts about seeing my wonderful family later that day, or gifts the day will bring. No, my thoughts were about the families of the Newtown massacre victims. How would they face the day without their beautiful children or without their adult family members? It’s unfathomable. It’s scary and it’s numbing.

Newtown came at the end of a year filled with sorrow, unthinkable death and questions about what lies ahead. Think back to the Colorado movie theatre shootings and the many others that occurred during the year including hopefully the last of the year, the senseless murder of two volunteer firefighters in Webster, New York. It seems gun-related deaths don’t even make the headlines unless the death tally is in double digits.

Beyond our borders we have the mass murder of Syrians by their own government; a threatening nuclear North Korea that has now moved closer to reaching the United States; a hostile Iran whose half-a-nut-bar president seems not to care about death has also moved closer to having nuclear capabilities.

On the nonviolent front, it’s just days before Congress and the president drive the country’s economy off the fiscal cliff. Experts say it will plunge the US into another recession. We have a gridlocked Congress that has been unable to pass any meaningful legislation is years and there is no sign that will change.

Since Newtown, the Shad has yet to weigh in on gun control, foreign policy or who is to blame to the financial mess the country is in. There will be plenty of time for that (starting with Wayne “shoot ‘em there” LaPierre, the head of the NRA). I probably just haven’t been able to process it all just yet. So far, there has been only images of Newtown in my mind.

So how and why should press ahead? The answer is because there is no other choice. The people of this country and the residents of Connecticut have always been able to rise above and push on no matter the challenges. I know personally that one never knows what one is capable of in the most distressing and seemingly desperate times. The feeling to pull the covers over your head is replaced by determination, resolve and plain stubbornness (in the most positive sense).

So on we go to 2013with the possibility of great things in a new year. It may seem hopeless at times, but the only choice is to embrace the future and do the best we can for ourselves and for others.

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