[Vision2020] Ten New Year's wishes for residents of the Palouse

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Mon Jan 1 03:33:37 PST 2018

Courtesy of today’s (January 1, 2018) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with thanks to Nancy Chaney.


HER VIEW Ten New Year's wishes for residents of the Palouse

By now you've probably noticed. The new calendar reads 2018. A whole new year of possibilities. An opportunity to reflect on the year past, good and bad, our accomplishments and shortcomings, groundwork we've laid and where we go from here.

I count among my blessings the opportunities to live in this friendly, stimulating place and to have served my community as an elected official. I have longtime ties to generations of friends across the region, in places like Colton, Uniontown, Pullman, Albion, Palouse, Viola, Troy, Kendrick and Genesee. My wish for the New Year is that we all find the following in abundance:

Generosity: Let's give of our time and ourselves. Become a volunteer. Read to someone. Donate to a food bank. Help build a playground, Habitat for Humanity house or dog park. Sponsor a child at sports camp. Say something nice. Shovel your neighbor's sidewalk. (Not hard. Small investment. Big return.)

Joy: Find something to smile about every day. You'll feel lighter, younger, happier, richer. (Multiple New Year's resolutions may be met through this single simple wish.)

Peace: Start small. Family, neighbors, your city, the Palouse. (Occasional disagreement and spirited but cordial debate are distinct from fighting. Name-calling, depersonalizing our adversaries and writing things we wouldn't dream of saying to someone's face are contrary to achieving peace.)

Trustworthiness: Trust can be misplaced or broken. A more durable wish is to make oneself dependably worthy of trust, and to spread that quality by example. (At least you'll know you can trust yourself. That's worth a lot.)

Patience: Composed of listening, paying attention, providing feedback, being careful, not rushing, spending quality time together. The so-called slow movement may also involve nonmotorized modes of transportation and hands-on styles of cooking. (Going slow often takes less time than hurrying, undoing and repeating, and in the cases of transportation and cooking, you can lose weight besides.)

Compassion: Gradations include working around the world with Peace Corps, adopting legions of orphaned children, forgiving one's enemies and accepting people who look, sound, act or believe differently than ourselves. Balancing self-interest with the greater good and needs of others. May benefit future generations. (Common on the Palouse, but yet more comfortably shared with people like ourselves than with "others.")

Belonging: Few of us are well-suited to solitary lives. We are parts of families, communities, nations, churches, ethnic groups, clubs, classes, environments, etc. Focus on what we have in common, the ways we are interdependent, the ways we can help each other by supporting social and ecological systems that support all of us.

Manageable challenges: These impart meaning to our lives and provide stimulation, fulfillment and the sense of being needed. Democracy is challenging by design. Let's make our voices heard. Be a constructive part of the process. (As we have learned so painfully over the past years, less manageable challenges may consolidate our various strengths, but the cost is extreme. It shouldn't take tragedy to draw us together.)

Wellness: The usual tips. Eat well. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Wash your hands. Balance work and play. Provide for ecosystem health for all living things. Protect our water supply. (Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The first wealth is health.")

Enough: May we all have enough to sustain us. Enough to eat and drink. Enough to laugh about. Enough love. Enough communication. Enough material goods to be comfortable. Enough wisdom to enjoy what we have and to plan for the future.

As we flip the calendar page to 2018, it is traditional to reflect on the year just past and consider the possibilities before us. May we know generosity, joy, peace, trustworthiness, patience, compassion, belonging, manageable challenges, wellness and the satisfaction of having enough of the things that really matter. Bonus points for overlaps.

(Nancy Chaney, who has been mayor of Moscow, is a local businesswoman and civic activist.)


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares"
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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