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Optimist New Year: Two weeks away – who are you helping to thrive?

Yes, the virus is raging. Mother nature is definitely off-kilter. And the dark noise of political bickering seems to be in overdrive. There are so many reasons to be concerned about our collective future…but there is brightness ahead. Just two weeks from today, the receding sunlight, will turn the corner and reverse its dark veil. December 21 is the Optimists New Year, because the daylight begins its momentum to push back the darkness.

Why the light metaphor today?

The light on our tree helps me push back the darkness of winter, and inspires hope for my faith in humanity.

Yesterday, I tuned into my favorite TV program CBS Sunday Morning. Most weeks I get a boost of positivity that lifts my belief in humanity. Not yesterday. The main story was about the impending tsunami of evictions expected on January 1, 2021. That’s the day after pandemic-related rent forgiveness expires. The story made me feel simultaneously outraged at the basic injustice of evicting people from their homes, and grateful (for my own home). As Mother Nature brings more sunlight into our lives, tens of millions of people will be tossed into a deeper darkness.

Like everything else, the whole subject is complicated. I’m not choosing sides: bankers need landlords to pay their mortgages, and landlords need to collect their rent. And people need to work, to pay for a place to live. It’s complicated…but what can I do?

This morning, as I waited for daylight, I found hope and encouragement in the lights on the tree in my home. Light often reveals the truth. And light reduces the heaviness of darkness. It’s moments like this when I prayerfully ask for guidance about what to do. Here’s what my soul heard this morning:

Goodness is when people thrive together, in a culture of encouragement, accountability, and positive teamwork. For me, that means embracing the darkness as a motivational force to help people who are soon to be homeless.

What does it mean for you?

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