Scranton Column: For future reference
New Year’s resolutions anyone? There are always reasons to look forward to a new year and the endless possibilities that will come with the 365 days ahead of us. One of my sons found a quote (likely as a meme or Instagram post) that was quite revealing and I couldn’t get it out of my head for a few days. As I wondered about 2021 and beyond, the quote kept surfacing and taking up way too much office space in my mind. It goes like this…“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times,” by G. Michael Hopf.
I don’t know much about the author of the quote other than he is a former soldier and has written some books that I should add to my list. If the quote hits home, it is because we first have to determine what times we are living in. Sure seems like things are hard so we are likely making some strong men but just how tough are things right now? We are on the tail end of a pandemic that caught us all by surprise and has altered life as we know it far into the future. Some of us have not been affected by the turmoil as much as others but the times we are living through will definitely have an impact on future generations.
The most difficult part of gazing into 2021 is knowing that threats like terrorism, pandemics, and economic unstability are the result of unknown, uncertain, and unseen forces. It would be much easier to know exactly why a group of people would want to spread terror or to have conclusive prescriptions for fighting a virus, or be able to predict the future of your job. Not much of this is possible right now and we are left to wonder what is going on and looking for people or institutions to put our trust in to guide us forward.
But, we can’t all agree on the people or the institutions as reflected in the presidential election. So, we are left with entering 2021 with a sense of uncertainty and, dare I say, dread. If people let us down what is left for us to do? The only thing we can do: toughen up and do what we can to turn tough times into good ones. I’m as uncertain as you are about what will happen in 2021 but the only certainty I can hang onto is that my faith and a confident sense of who I am and what I stand for will last longer than what we are currently experiencing.
We love to hear stories about the people who didn’t give up, who went against the naysayers, who determined that no matter what, they were going to do what they thought was right. The thing about these types of people is that we don’t hear too much about them while they are in the process. It isn’t until we are on the other side of something that we can look back and determine what it was that got us through or helped us see clearly what was uncertain.
We are all in a tough spot right now but 2021 is going to reveal more about who we are individually and that’s who we have to spend the most time with so I hope your new year will find you making a determination about who you are, who you want to be, and how you are going to move forward. That is the best prescription for tough times.
Happy New Year!
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