Positive Change Starts With You and Me.
Although the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic has reportedly contributed to almost 2,400,000 deaths worldwide at the time this article was written, I have been in touch with numerous people who have been adversely affected emotionally. Some of them feel lost. Some feel like they have been forgotten and no one cares about them. Some have been depressed. Some feel like something is off but cannot pinpoint exactly what is the problem.
Positive Change Starts With You and Me.
Many people looked forward to the year 2021, thinking that 2020 was a bad year. I still maintain that 2020 was a bad year because many people caused or allowed it to be a bad year and not necessarily due to the pandemic itself — but that is another story for another time.
Rosh Hashanah — which is the new year in Judaism — came and went on Friday, September 18, 2020. Nothing changed. The Lunar New Year was celebrated by the Chinese and people of other Asian cultures only two days ago on Friday, February 12, 2021. Nothing changed. A new president of the United States took office on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
Nothing changed — at least, in terms of the pandemic — although we are no closer to unity than before.
I can spend weeks discussing where things went wrong last year at this time — but that would serve no purpose. Some people believe that the pandemic is a complete hoax; while people at the other end of the extreme still have not emerged from isolation back into society. Both extremes are completely wrong, in my opinion — and people have been looking to so-called leaders, experts, and even celebrities for guidance.
Change begins with you and me — not with some famous person.
Instead of calling someone a “Karen” — how I despise that “word” and other pejorative terminology — when was the last time you told someone you appreciated them or what they did? When was the last time you brightened someone’s day — just because?
When was the last time you held a door open for someone — or thanked someone for holding a door open for you?
When was the last time you disagreed with someone in a civil and constructive manner — and respected his or her right to his or her opinion? When was the last time you agreed to disagree with someone and learn from his or her differing point of view — taking it into consideration with regard to your own viewpoints?
We live in a divided country because many people are working to keep it divided for numerous reasons. Seemingly, nothing short of a terrorist attack will unite the ironically named United States of America — even if on a false and temporary basis — and whatever perception of unity people may have should not depend on something so drastic, destructive, and pointless.
The aforementioned leaders, experts, and celebrities are not the ones who will change the world for the better. Many of them have too many self-serving interests and selfish reasons to effect positive change in the world. We cannot — and should not — depend on them.
Rather, change begins with you. Change begins with me. We must model the way by quietly demonstrating leadership and showing by example of how the world can be a better place — even by something as simple as smiling to someone and telling that person one small way he or she helps the world become a better place in which to live.
Positive change starts with respect for our fellow human beings — as well as for our environment. We may not be able to eliminate the 2019 Novel Coronavirus from the face of this planet — but we can do even the littlest of things to improve society: saying “please” and “thank you”; taking a few extra minutes to help someone’s life become a little easier; presenting someone with a pleasant surprise; or conjuring up positive ideas and implementing them.
How do I know?
Simple. What has been discussed in this article has greatly helped for international travel — among other things — to be that much more successful for me…
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.