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Other Opinion: What will 2021 bring? It depends on you

2021 can be what we make it to be.

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A shiny new year awaits. How will you treat it?

Will you make the effort to polish it from time to time to keep the year filled with promise and hope?

Or will you lazily let it lose its luster, allowing it to become dull and gloomy?

What everyone decides to do in their community, their county, their state, their nation and in the world will play a part in how 2021 shakes out.

So for the next 365 days, keep these resolutions in mind:

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1. Be more positive. Don’t assume the worst in people. Don’t constantly look for flaws in what others say or do. Remember the words of legendary guitarist Les Paul: “In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.”

2. Don’t be afraid of failure. View mistakes as opportunities. Remember the words of basketball legend Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

3. Believe in yourself. You can make a difference in the lives of others. Don’t let other people’s judgement of you become your reality. Heed the words of Bruce Lee, martial artist and actor: “Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.”

4. Never give up. Keep trying. Don’t let your dreams fade away. Draw inspiration from poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

5. Don’t be quick to criticize others. Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t leap to the conclusion that others are wrong. Author and speaker Joyce Meyer put it this way: “Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, fault finding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.”

6. Don’t get bogged down in politics. Don’t turn every topic political. Don’t let your blood pressure burst over some political nonsense that’s posted in social media. A good observation from American poet and author Richard Armour: “Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.”

7. Help your community. Volunteer. Get more involved. From actress Audrey Hepburn: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands – one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

8. Lastly, respect other people’s right to have an opinion. Be civil. Accept the fact that others will have a different opinion than yours. One of the newspaper’s favorite quotes from the English writer, Evelyn Beatrice Hall: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”

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