The year 2020 has presented us with unprecedented adversity, sacrifice and heartache.
We have faced challenges unseen for many generations from the Australian wildfires that rang in 2020, to the political unrest plaguing our neighbours in the United States, to the global pandemic that has haunted us since March.
However, as a community, we have largely risen to the challenges we face as a united front to ensure no-one is left behind.
It has been inspiring to see the innovative and creative ways people have adapted and developed to help those in need.
Even in the darkest moments of the year, these acts of compassion and bravery have served to light our way.
That spirit will be needed to carry us through to 2021— When the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 31, it will not magically reset the world, it is up to all of us to create the change we wish to see.
The peace, calm and positivity we crave can only be cultivated through our actions and hard work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has asked much of us and more will be needed.
While the vaccine for the virus has already begun to be disseminated into the community, we must all collectively work together to protect our most vulnerable communities— From both the danger of the virus and the struggles many may be having with their mental health.
The COVID-19 virus has shown us there is a deep divide in our society. Some embrace the idea of wearing masks and getting the vaccine to help keep people safe, while others air concerns that masks and vaccines infringe on our personal freedoms.
Our resolution as a community should be to find common ground.
By showing empathy, we can create a stronger community and one more open to positive dialogue. Empathy is not the approval of a certain behaviour or opinion, but rather an active effort to understand where a person is coming from and why their ideals may be different.
We can empathize with the fear and uncertainty many may be feeling and find inspiration to rise above the adversity and approach the new year embracing kindness and courage in place of anger and resentment.
It has been said holding onto anger and resentment is like holding onto a hot stone— In the end, it is you who is burned and suffers.
How we react to our current circumstances will echo through the ages. Let us create a message we can be proud of.
Let us go into 2021 embodying the spirit that makes Cochrane and Canada great— The commitment to looking after others and having unbridled hope that together we can make the world better and begin to heal from the wounds inflicted during 2020.
Here at The Cochrane Eagle we are wishing our community all good things in the new year. May it be filled with fun, joy, peace, love, care and success. Happy new year to a wonderful community.