And so the story begins…

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The most challenging year

2020 is drawing to a close and we all are hoping for the next year to be better.

Not being able to go out and live our lives as usual and facing many restrictions forced us to change our behaviour, adapt to and question many things. It also meant learning and growing on the inside.

Looking at how emotions spread on social media it concerned me for a long time how hatred, fear and lies appeared to overwhelm people making them fearful for the future and insecure not knowing what to believe anymore.

The good thing is: Emotional content always spreads like wildfire – no matter if positive or negative. So then, why not trying to counterbalance all the negativity out there and spreading joy instead? We certainly can’t do that enough and should never underestimate the effects on people. And we need that now more than ever.

I have written about hope and positivity before. It is never a given, but a choice we make each day. And it is not an easy one. For some of us it is a real challenge depending on our individual circumstances.

Being very well aware how privileged I am in many regards I feel blessed for the factors contributing to my wellbeing and staying mentally sane during this year. Among them first of all my friends and their calm and down-to-earth approach. The fact that I still have my job, nature in front of my doorstep and a nice flat making it easy to work from home. Not everybody was and is that lucky. 

I am especially thankful for my friends, and all the people crossing my path this year, teaching me in so many different ways, encouraging, supporting and motivating me, opening new horizons.

Realizing how much I have and how little I actually need made me feel grateful. That is exactly why I decided not to worry too much and to encourage people about a positive outlook to the future whenever the need arises. It is one way of making a difference and giving back, even if it appears to be only a tiny piece of the mosaic. 

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense – no matter how it turns out. (Vaclav Havel)

So what makes sense to me right now?

For once, being positive about the future. And that doesn’t mean being optimistic. It means having the confidence and faith that things – which could turn out either way of course – don’t have to turn out automatically negative.

There is certainly no rule about the inevitability of a downward spiral because things simply do not remain the same. No reason to assume bad things will last forever – they just don’t.

Whenever reading an opinion piece about no matter what: this pandemic, political or social change – I see the effect it is having on me: I am immediately becoming more hopeful feeling my beliefs reinforced. Same when talking to people. It feels so good to notice that everyone I have been talking to those last months utters their hopes for the next year. And so do I.

Hope is what drives us.

Let’s allow ourselves to be hopeful and confident in the face of the new year approaching.

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. (Jane Goodall)

In order to be a realist you must believe in miracles. (David Ben-Gurion)

Have a good year 2021 and may you never lose hope!