Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the coming year?” Of the 215 people who responded, 36% said they were optimistic; 25% said they were pessimistic; and 37% said they were “meh, in the middle.” Seventy-one people submitted comments. A few follow.
Judaism teaches us that we each have an obligation to do our part in repairing the world. We have to take an active role in bringing light, hope and goodness to others. Viewed this way, we are empowered to shape the future in some small (and hopefully big sometimes, too) ways. Knowing this should always fill us with hope and optimism.
This is the new normal. The “pandemic” has become an “endemic.” There’s not going to be an “end” to this, it’s just going to continue in perpetuity. Just think of it as flu season having gotten worse and accept the trajectory of society. When we do, we’ll all be better off.
Things do not look good!
There are continuing efforts among the reactionary minority to cripple or kill our democracy, to suppress voting rights, to place political considerations over public health, and to eliminate the right of women to have an abortion. It is a time of destabilizing hyper-partisanship which precludes Congress from enacting necessary legislation. There is little about which I can be optimistic.
I always try to start every new year (both secular and Jewish) with optimism, even if things are looking bleak at the moment.
I think the pandemic will only get worse with so many unvaccinated and unmasked people. So I expect more resistant to vaccine variants to spread. But I’m fine being at home and enjoy the new opportunities that have opened up with the world becoming more friendly to remote viewing.
My pessimism is the result of the covid situation and people’s refusal to be vaccinated or wear masks and all the terrible division in the United States between people. PJC