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  • Eileen McDargh

UnHappy New Year - Your Choice

Pretty hard to holler out “Happy New Year” when my January in-person event just cancelled because of Covid concerns. Record snows are battering the Western U.S. and bowl games have been scratched while hate speech echoes in the halls of Congress.

Optimistic? Hard to do when many news sources decide which stories deserve comment. Inevitably, disappointing and disturbing stories outnumber positive reports.


Robert Hubbell, a prominent writer and news analyst, offers an alternative against the deluge of bad news.


“The answer is perspective. And there is no better description of perspective than the essay by Carl Sagan about a photograph taken by Voyager I as it left the solar system. In that photograph, the Earth occupies a single pixel in a vast darkness. Sagan’s essay, A Pale Blue Dot, is an appropriate reflection on our place in the universe and deserves to be read out loud at family gatherings as we close the chapter on a challenging year. This year, Sagan’s essay is especially appropriate because of his call to protect Earth:


"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this

vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. . . . [T]his distant image of our tiny world underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."


That’s it! Perspective. Step back and realize that we can choose to make a commitment in 2022 to deal more kindly with each other and this planet. It’s not a Pollyanna sentiment. It’s how we’ll either live or die together.


I’ve made my choice. What is yours?




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