I’ve stood on the outside on purpose, deciding to take some time away from writing and simply stand there as one would peruse a window display at Macy’s during Christmas time. I stood back, watched the news, listened to the radio, podcasts, and observed the goings on in the twittersphere. 

I’ve watched the woke crowd continue to cancel those with whom they disagree, and watched the unwoke either absorb the blows or clap back gingerly, fearful of reprisal. I’ve engaged in conversation with people who have diametrically opposed views than I do regarding Covid, mask wearing, and infection rates. The conversations have been civil as I no longer choose to engage those that would be otherwise, and since those I’ve engaged are friends, we both walk away still friends, content to understand that we have differing views, never arriving at a consensus.

I’ve unfollowed people or unfriended them, and while I’m never unwilling to engage opposite thought, I have chosen to disengage with those unwilling to consider alternative views, especially ones that are factual in nature. In some cases, I’ve chosen to simply not engage at all, where once only a few months ago, I might not have been able to help myself. Now, I do help myself by simply refusing to get involved. What’s the point? People are dug in deeper than an East Tennessee tick on the hide of a deer, even if they’re factually wrong. 

I’ve counted my blessings – too many to list – and thank God each evening for what I have and what I am, even if others don’t like what I am. Failing to count those gifts is to not remember how good it is to simply be, for one day, I will be no longer, more days behind me than before me.

I’ve watched our kids navigate these last few months with more grace than I would have been able to muster, and wonder if I had any hand at all in raising them as they’re better than I was at their age. Surely it must be the influence of my wife. The cycle of life, whether it be personal, professional, or simply living is a fascinating adventure we allow to pass us by as we’re too busy, most of the time, with trivial things blown up to be more than they ought. It’s our great failing as humans, but one we generally don’t realize until we are breathing our last.

I find myself rushing the next year and a half, pushing it faster than it’s supposed to go and wondering aloud at times if I’m truly crazy to wish time away. Time, the most precious possession we have, and the commodity we waste the most. David Cassidy’s last words before he died were “so much wasted time”. I think on that often.

It would seem our world is on fire, our nation in chaos, and there’s little hope for the future. I’m finding that there is a significant number of people that enjoy that – actually hope for it – as though they’re bored with their lives and are looking for something to spice it up a bit. Prosperity will do that to a people. When they have much and there is no outside threat they begin to turn inward to find problems. What were once small, insignificant issues that didn’t amount to much become overwhelming problems that cannot be dealt with, ushering in saviors for each one along with their accompanying acolytes. They sow those seeds as they see little for themselves but power, and in the end, power is what motivates people. Do not be blinded by outward appearances.

In the end, all I can do is be the best person I can be in this new year. Me. I’m not going to change the world, and I won’t let the world change me. I will resolve to continue to see this planet with the eyes of a child, filled with wonderment and curiosity. I will strive to grow in this new year while I watch my children navigate what’s to come. I’ll be there to help anyone who needs it, and ask for it myself. 

Each breath a gift, each day a joy, and each sunset a look through the eyes of God. Such is life on this big blue marble, and I don’t want to miss a moment.