Tuesday, January 3, 2017
An open letter to 2017
Based on the number of times your name has been uttered over the last few weeks, it would be reasonable for you to feel a little pressure. Your predecessor kicked many of us in the face & there is some expectation that you are going to make up for it. To be clear, I didn't really harbor any ill will towards 2016 until November so we didn't completely break up, although she left without saying goodbye & I can't say I was sad to see her go.
You seem to be off to a good start, but please don't get overconfident. As much as most folks enjoy a happy ending, for reasons I find baffling, the public at large will build you up & then stand around & wait for you to crash & burn. Please think before you act. As appealing as the element of surprise may appear, you probably shouldn't chance it. The last several surprises of 2016 weren't taken well by most Americans & you aren't going to win any fans by poking at hurt & angry people suffering from surprise-induced PTSD.
In an effort to show my support, I will lead by example & let you know what to expect from me so that you aren't surprised either. Here are a few things you should know about me...
I believe we must treat each other with compassion & empathy. We must respect our differences. The things that make us different can be an opportunity to learn & expand our worldview if we will open our eyes & shut our mouths. That means you too, 2017. Are you listening? You don't get to judge the 1960's or bully the 1970's just because they look & act differently than you do. For the record, I'm certain that the entire decade of the 1950's is clutching her pearls in horror at you but she is too polite to say so.
I believe we must help others who have less than us. Sitting around with our chest puffed out thinking we are better off financially because we are SO much smarter than others honestly would just show how ignorant we are, don't you think 2017? None of us got where we are without a little help from someone. You, for instance started off in your financial position thanks to the way 2016 left it so you aren't exactly 100% self-made either.
I believe we must share our talents & skills in a positive way. I plan to do this by making more art that will include a donation to different non-profits. The pet portraits will always benefit Out of the Woods Animal Rescue with 20% of the commission fees, but I want to do other targeted donations related to some new art. I'm still working out the details but I will let you know as soon as possible... so that is my plan, 2017 what's yours? I'll give you a little time to think about it, but don't take too long. It may seem to you right now as if you have all the time in the world, but before you know it 2018 will be shoving you out the door. Just know that I am pulling for you & wishing you the best.