Another year has ended and a new one is beginning. 2020 has been a very rough year in many ways, and I hope, as you probably do too, that 2021 will be an improvement. New vaccines have been developed to stop the COVID-19 virus, and essential healthcare workers are getting them first, as well as people living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. They will be available to the rest of us as time passes. It remains to be seen if they will work, but there are high hopes that they will if the majority of people get them.

Fires, hurricanes and floods plagued various parts of the country last year, and though we may not be able to stop them from occurring again this year, we can work to save our physical world and help those affected by those disasters. Climate change is real as evidenced by these occurrences. We must do what we can in our daily living to slow down the destruction of our planet. I read somewhere this quote, “There is no plan(et) B,” at least not one we have found.

Major racial unrest continues, as well it should. Black men are still being targeted and killed by police, and all people of color are still being marginalized and treated unfairly in all phases of their lives. In 2021 we MUST stop the continuing racism. Those of us who are privileged white people must look within, find our own racism, and work to flush it out of our systems for good.

I don’t pretend to be able to suggest solutions in this short space, but we must find ways to heal our country and our world. We have been badly wounded and broken, but I know we can repair the damage if each of us finds a way to work in our small corner of the world to make it better.

My word for 2021 is Resilience. That, and kindness, should get me through this coming year.

Resilience

It comes when the door to my life is being pushed in by uninvited guests
who arrive unannounced and find me unprepared.
I can try to push back and lock the door
or let them in to discover their purposes and find a way to welcome them.
Are there things for me to learn from them?
Can I become stronger because of them?
Illness, disasters, prejudices elbow their way into my comfortable existence;
I can’t ignore them or wish them away.
They are taking up space where strength and resolve and kindness belong.
They are stealing my energy and wearing me down,
but I can reverse the effects of their arrival
by acknowledging their existence, reducing their power,
and moving them slowly back out the door.
I can reach out beyond my sheltering space
and invite in the light, embrace the work before me, roll up my sleeves,
and clean up the cobwebs of darkness disturbing my peace.
It is the rest of my life’s work, and I am up for the task.

© Dorothy A Joslyn

What is keeping you from reclaiming your strength and power?

Define what resilience means to you. How can it get you through the rough times?

What can you do in your corner of the world to stop racism?

What are you doing to help stop and/or reverse climate change?

Be kind to everyone you encounter, and watch how it transforms your life. Write about your experiences.

3 replies
  1. Sarah Birnbach
    Sarah Birnbach says:

    What a wonderful post. I’ll be interested in knowing how you answered the questions about racism and climate change. I agree with you wholeheartedly that we can repair the damage if each of us finds a way to work in our small corner of the world to make it better. I’m on board.

    Reply
    • Dottie
      Dottie says:

      Hi Sarah-so good to see your response! I am in the process of educating myself about racism and where I fall on the continuum of its existence. I am learning a lot but have much more to absorb. Meanwhile, I’m doing a self study on the subject, and it’s eye-opening to say the least. I have a lot to learn about how to mitigate climate change, too. For now I recycle and try to minimize the use of resources. There is so much to be done, but I want to get it right the first time.

      Reply
  2. Kathi
    Kathi says:

    Hi Dottie,
    Yes, our comfort and peace have certainly been disturbed!! So much to reflect on in this post. What I’ve learned through all of this is that there is still plenty of beauty in this world of ours and my goal is to find ways to contribute to it.
    Thank you for this poem. You’ll find a copy of it pasted in my journal. Love you! Kathi

    Reply

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