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Column: With ’21 in the rearview, ’22 is already showing promise

By Mike Somers

In these “unprecedented times…”

If I hear this overused excuse for our problems one more time, I think I’ll….you get the point. Why are we letting all the negativity in our world continue to make our lives miserable?

I was reminded this past week that I need to write about something positive. Starting a new year is the perfect opportunity to begin things fresh, so I decided to try by sharing positive thoughts. Here goes.

Start by wiping our personal slates clean. Not totally, of course, but it still sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? What we can do is clean out the negative garbage that invades our lives each and every day. Easy? No. POSITIVE? Yes.

It is easy to look at the last year and remember everything bad that has impacted us. As I often do, I like to look at our local community and offer my critiques on the actions of government, schools, and current issues. My views are written often with a negative twist. Not today.

Local positive attitudes abound. Here are a few I have noticed lately. Let’s take some positive lessons.
We have a local radio show that does a morning segment where one show host uses music to try to stump another host. These two people could not be any more different in their political and social viewpoints. They certainly could use their opposing views to present a very divisive format. Instead, a common love for music brings them together in a very positive way to reminisce and enjoy a common interest. POSITIVE.

The decision by local school leaders to temporarily close classrooms due to COVID infections among a large percentage of staff and students seems like a perfect negative issue. It does not have to be taken that way. A short break to let those who are sick get healthy and let the virus run its course appears to be a wise decision. Finding something good in this COVID craziness? POSITIVE.

This nasty virus, now in its much weaker form, is creating something no one has talked about since the whole covid thing started two years ago. Herd immunity. POSITIVE.

We all now realize that no one can make this virus disappear. It will be with mankind forever. Many of us are learning how to live with it. And as time goes on, it will continue to fade and the vast majority of us will recover. Something to look forward to? You bet. The ineffective mask and vax mandates will eventually be relaxed (we hope). POSITIVE.

All are positive lights at the end of last year’s long dark tunnel.

The upcoming election for local offices provides another shining positive. How refreshing to see so many local people stepping up to sacrifice time in their personal lives to ask for an opportunity to serve fellow community members. Yet, as soon as the news started coming out on who was running for office, the local social media trolls began sniping at the candidates. And they were not using reasonable debate, but rather attacking them with nonsensical rhetoric.

I had the opportunity to talk with a few of these candidates and their response to how to deal with the social media gutter rats encouraged me. Instead of trying to defend the baseless claims, protect themselves from the constant bullying, or react to the nasty name-calling, they chose to ignore it all. They decided to continue their positive messaging demonstrating how they want to make our community and schools better. After all, they concluded, if no one responds to these societal parasites, they will be speaking (rhetorically) in an empty echo chamber. POSITIVE? Absolutely.

What a great lesson for all of us. Ignore those who would push their divisiveness. They will only try to drag you down to the gutter with them. After all, misery loves company, doesn’t it? Look to the brighter side and spend energy to promote a better community. Let the internet vermin be. Get away from them and stay away from them. Be positive. Support people and issues you believe in, and values you behold by using your most positive tone. Be respectful. You will feel much better. And people who feel good find it much easier to be POSITIVE.

Good lessons for us all.

The year 2021 was a train wreck. But we need to live on. We need to move our lives in a straight line ahead. We will have more obstacles like the ones in 2021. Where obstacles are, we need to take a left or a right—or just plow straight ahead right through. Keep on moving ahead. Be POSITIVE.

Heed the prophetic words used in Bobby Mcferrin’s song, “Be Happy.”

May God Bless All in 2022!

Mike Somers is semi-retired and lives with his wife in Custer.

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