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For a better 2021, are you willing to change?

Can we just return to a kinder, gentler way of life in 2021?

Would that be asking for too much?

In my line of business, I talk to a lot of people each week. And, in nine out of every 10 conversations of late, the discussion usually circles back to the opening premise of today’s column.

And, while that premise is certainly one worth hoping for, and is ground in logic and hope, it is intriguing, usually, what occupies the rest of the conversation.

More often than not, the discussion involves the newspaper, a president or politicians, COVID-19 in one form or another, conspiracy theories, lies, truth, or evil — not in any particular order.

I have witnessed in those discussions people who I consider pretty smart but who seem to expound viewpoints pretty far-fetched.

I have seen people I consider open-minded argue a point from a very narrow and uncompromising position.

I have watched sane people appear to lose sight of what grounded them, and reasonable thinkers become non-thinkers.

I’m tired of all this insanity.

I am all in for returning to a more civil way of life, but my question to you is, are you willing to pay the price and make a sacrifice to get there?

Are you ready to bury the great mask debate and accept a person as they are, not what they wear — or don’t wear?

Are you ready to show respect to those who should naturally have earned it from you, instead of treating them like dirt?

If you have something to say, are you willing to back it up by putting your name to it, rather than hide behind anonymity?

Are you ready to be the solution, rather than the problem?

Are you ready to listen, instead of talk, think before you blabber on and on?

Are you ready to seek justice, rather than promote injustice?

And are you ready to forgive, rather than be stubborn and unforgiving?

On this day after Christmas 2020, are you ready to embrace the hope that we celebrated on Friday with the birth of the prince of peace, the everlasting father, and the great “I am”?

And, if that answer is yes, do you realize that it means the last becomes first, and the first becomes last? Do you realize the sacrifice that will entail?

If so, then join me, and let’s make 2021 a year where truth and justice join love and respect as the pillars of a new way of interacting with each other.

Let’s replace ignorance with education and prejudice with wisdom.

Enough of the doom and gloom.

Let’s usher in positivity and optimism.

Here’s to 2021!

Bill Speer can be reached at 989-354-3111, ext. 311, or bspeer@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @billspeer13.

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