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Welcome a New Year and a hopeful future

OPINION by Melinda Gassaway, guest column | January 1, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

This is not a column enumerating my New Year's resolutions.

But, like many of you, I have some thoughts on what 2022 might bring to us as we continue to look ahead and not remain entrenched in yesterday.

That is truly hard to do right now because some things are naturally carry-over concerns -- the COVID virus and its Omicron variant, the economic outlook, how our children and older citizens will fare, how politics -- local, state, and national -- will continue to shape the future.

That said, let me send out the sincerest of best wishes to everyone in our local community and to the families and friends who make our lives and this place so very special.

What would Hot Springs and Garland County be and how could their residents thrive and survive without the hard work and dedication of our various help agencies and nonprofits? May they find ways to meet the many new challenges that are sure to arise in the coming months.

Speaking of things to come, let's give a cheer to the upbeat attitude and creative verve of our schoolteachers and administrators who undoubtedly will be faced with myriad new issues during their upcoming terms. We feel assured that they will find the most workable solutions for all.

Once again, we have an untold number of energetic visionaries who put forth their collective efforts every day of every year to upgrade our businesses, hospitality outlets, national park and natural resource site, recreational and sporting venues, artistic, cultural, and educational locales and we know that their drive and strength of purpose will be to our benefit as time marches onward.

Since our individual and collective health has always been of paramount importance, we must all strive even harder to salute our faithful doctors, nurses, first-responders, lab technicians, hospital workers and clinicians -- whoever they are and wherever they serve.

All too often, it is more comfortable to look back rather than peer into tomorrow. The uncertainties sometimes give us pause. Still, there is something invigorating about new adventures, new possibilities, new opportunities to make a difference.

Of course, we cannot totally forget or dismiss the year just past or all the years that came before it. Nor should we.

Those multiple decades and the people who inhabited them with us determined in large part who we have become and how we manage this human condition called life.

It is the olden days that in large measure have prepared us for the new ways and the new days that the calendar tells us have once again arrived.

May you welcome this New Year with eyes to a hopeful future.

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