Thinking About 2022 Possibilities

Thinking About 2022 Possibilities

Atlanta Jewish Times shares our resolutions on what all of us are hoping to accomplish, avoid, and improve upon in the New Year.

Chana Shapiro is an educator, writer, editor and illustrator whose work has appeared in journals, newspapers and magazines. She is a regular contributor to the AJT.

Chana Shapiro
Chana Shapiro

2022 New Years Resolution from Chana Shapiro

Just about every plan and hope I had for 2021 was dashed, but I still have those hopes and plans! I’ve decided to keep going by following the advice of Viktor Frankl, the late Austrian psychiatrist, philosopher, author and Holocaust survivor, who wrote, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

His advice, honed in the concentration camps, applies naturally today to accepting the restrictions of wearing masks, getting vaccinated and social distancing in the era of COVID-19, or consistently recycling or seriously monitoring our use of fossil fuels. Most of us have changed ourselves to live with the restrictions of the present, but I’m increasingly eager to expand my interactions in the world, rather than to contract them.

My 2022 resolution is to respond to the unexpected things I cannot change by choosing to be more compassionate, brave and resilient (if one thing doesn’t work, try another, then another; don’t give up). To approach my goals, here are a few of my 2022 resolutions: greet everyone with a welcoming countenance, whether I know them or not, even if other people don’t like them very much; spend as much time as possible with young people, especially teens; watch the domestic news less and watch more English-language foreign news; when people ask for help, answer, “yes;” and hang around more with people who love and fear Hashem.

The difficult situations that come up will be opportunities to build my patience, generosity, creativity and optimism. I like this statement by self-help book author and designer, Karen Salmansohn: “The only person you can change is yourself. But when you change yourself, you change everything.” Maybe not everything, but for sure, my grandchildren are watching.

Chana Shapiro is a contributing writer to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

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