Sunrise Daytona Beach
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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.

  1. totally agree.

    it’s like if you’re on a flight and a flight attendant does an excellent job and is super nice and maybe even gives you an extra granola bar or whatever…that’s scenario 1.

    scenario 2 is a flight attendant accidentally spills orange juice on your pants.

    which scenario will cause you to contact the airlines?

    accordingly and non-negatory, thanks for your blog!

  2. Delightfully uplifting post. And completely spot on. People need people.

    I enjoyed a lovely lunch and walk with a few friends today. I can only hope it was as invigorating for them as it was for me.

    I appreciate that you use your platform to encourage kindness and rational thought. Please continue to do so.

  3. How refreshing. A blog that discusses covid without demonizing someone. More to the point, a post that shows demonizing people only makes things worse and the answer to most all of our problems is simple respect and kindness towards one another. And I would go so far as to say the ONLY answer to most all of our societal problems. Love one another. Wonder where we’ve heard that before?
    Thank you for the post.

  4. It is not only China that celebrates the Lunar New Year….So saying Chinese New year sounds a bit ignorant of other countries/cultures that celebrate the same calendar….

    1. You know what, ken?

      I completely agree with you.

      Thank you for pointing that out. I did not mean to be exclusive to any other culture which celebrates the Lunar New Year. The article has been edited to reflect that…

      …and thank you for a possible idea for a future article here at The Gate to help educate others.

  5. Great points. The first three comments are examples of where we are at. Nothing personal against the comments so far it’s just that everyone has their own opinion and that has ramped up. People in America are fed up with many things like all sides of the media because none of it is unbiased or unspun from the extreme of MSNBC on the left to the fringe right Infowars. We thought we could at least voice our opinions but that turns out to be under some else’s control from their social media paid for yachts or mansion in silicon valley. We thought we could walk down the street in safety in our own towns but that is under attack from all sides from the mayor, governor, or president telling us that we will kill people if we don’t wear a mask to the park or beach. If we do survive the selfish virus-laden trip outside we may get caught up with a socialist BLM protest that has nothing to do with civil rights, an anarchist Antifa riot from people who hate our country, or maybe a QAnon march or a statue tearing down ceremony. Many of us have lost jobs, lost businesses, lost friends and family in the past 12 months. We can’t watch sports to escape from all the BS, we can’t go to church in many places to worship, we can’t travel to get away from it all and many can’t go to work. Woman and men that are desperate for attention or money are selling their bodies on FansOnly. We can’t even go and hug our grandparents at their home or nursing facility for fear of killing them. We can’t seem to rely on elections or politicians. Alcohol abuse and porn are out of control. These are some reasons that anger and hatred are at such a high level. We need to rise above that.
    I’m sure there are many folks that read this blog from all over the world. We in America feel we live in the greatest country in history but I’m sure the Romans did as well. You are right that we need to rise above all this and remember to love others as we would want them to love us back. We don’t even have to like what others do but we should love them regardless.

  6. DaninMCI, thanks for your spot on thoughts above. It’s really unfortunate but the place that we find ourselves in as a country is 100% the fault of the media. Last week, Nicole Wallace on MSNBC suggested that maybe conservatives should be gunned down by drones. CNN, who employs the brother of the governor of NY (the guy who actually earned an Emmy for his coronavirus talks) , has given minimal coverage to the massive coverup scandal surrounding the governor. The New York Times, who controls the corporate media narrative for the country, actually censored their own conservative columnist last week by spiking his column denouncing their censorship. The worst part of the corporate media going off the rails is that one political party knows that they can do/say anything and not get called out for it. Want to rip up the State of the Union speech as Speaker of the House and not get called out for it (get applauded instead)? Go for it. Want to cause hate and division by falsely claiming that the president is a Russian asset for three years? Go for it, not only will the media have your back but they’ll run with the story as a lead for almost three years. Want to blame a worldwide pandemic that originated in China on the Republican president and even refer to it as the Trump virus? Have at it, the media will float the same narrative. Want to encourage the looting and burning down of our cities in an effort to damage the presidency and stir unrest? Go for it, the media will have your back. Want to bail out the criminals doing the burning and looting, as you campaign for the vice presidency, so they can get out on the streets and do some more burning and looting? Go for it, not a word from the corporate media. Want to suggest that you’ll never take a vaccine that was fast tracked by the Trump administration, sowing doubt among millions of people? Go for it, we the media won’t criticize. Want to sleep with a Chinese spy while you sit on the House Intel Committee? Have your way bro, we in the media will just ignore the story and you can continue to serve on that intel committee.

    I could go on for hours with examples of this. This obviously needs to be fixed. We have created a corporate news cartel dominated by the NYT and then fed into the other corporate media goliaths controlled by Comcast and ATT. Those distributors actually own CNN and MSNBC. Local media has been crushed by Google, social media, and Craigslist. The narrative comes from a very small group of people and there’s little competition to that narrative. Sure you can watch Fox News, but how many liberals do you know who get their news from Fox News. Perhaps purely non partisan news coverage never existed but I do recall a time where the news didn’t seem 100% agenda driven. How do we get to that place when the business models of the NYT and the other most powerful media outlets are designed to preach to the choir, monetize hatred, and give the people what they want to hear as opposed to honest down the middle journalism? If we can get there then that will go a long way towards knocking down the division. Unfortunately, I don’t know how we get there because the incentives towards honest journalism no longer exist.

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