I eschew New Year’s resolutions. Why resolve to do something and forget I did? Just not my style.
Saying that, I do harbor a litany of hopes for 2020, understanding that reality might render them impractical. But if we abandon hope, we court disaster, if not depression.
So, I’ve compiled a list of hopes for the 21st year of our century. We all have them. I’m lucky I’ve got a platform to express them.
I hope you will feel free to comment. Onto Hopeland:
For a year unblemished by mass killings performed by deranged and xenophobic perpetrators.
For effective opposition to a third Bay Bridge span that would seem certain to damage the way of our relatively uncongested life on the Eastern Shore.
For another restaurant in the now empty space that until recently housed Mason’s Redux at 22 South Harrison Street in Easton.
That family, friends and a White Labrador Retriever named Sandy enjoy good health and personal satisfaction in 2020.
For a year devoid of questionable decisions at Washington College concerning student drama decisions, and a resurgence of fiscal health at this historic liberal arts college.
For a year without serious human and physical destruction wrought domestically and internationally by climate change and global warming.
For an impeachment trial driven by political fairness (possible?) and judicious thinking (possible?) in the U.S. Senate.
For a Super Bowl that includes the Baltimore Ravens not merely as a participant, but as the eventual victor.
For a World Series that again includes participation by the Washington Nationals and possibly, though unlikely, by the Baltimore Orioles.
For a winter season that offers a paucity of snow and ice, reasonably moderate temperatures and an early conclusion.
For a Maryland legislative session that finds a fiscally responsible way to fund public school education.
For an economy that keeps buzzing along, providing ample opportunity and fair wages for American workers.
For Eastern Shore farmers to retain close ties to China’s market without inference from the federal government and its ill-advised tariffs.
For a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which robs too many people of cognitive lives and family members of loved ones.
For a resurgence, if possible, of local news in our country, harmed by the loss of local newspapers and consequent accountability of government bodies.
For a restoration of trust in private and public-sector institutions wracked by self-dealing by board members in violation of conflict-of-interest standards.
For peace and freedom from deadly acts of terrorism, fueled worldwide by religious intolerance and fanatical beliefs.
For a return to civility and respect among elected officials belonging to different political parties, and among friends who disagree politically and philosophically.
For a balance between small businesses and big-box stores that can and do rob towns and cities of their economic core.
For humor that unites, not divides groups drawn by common interests.
For mitigation of tribalism that isolates adherents of particular viewpoints and lifestyles from those who live and think differently.
For the continued outlet of hope and optimism in a world rife with pessimism and cynicism.
For the strengthening of land preservation on the Eastern Shore to preclude haphazard development and sprawl.
For the continued improvement, though slow, in the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
For the iconic oyster to flourish and survive in our favorite estuary, free of disease and overfishing.
For philanthropy to remain strong in the Mid-Shore area to enable worthy non-profit organizations to serve the public good.
For the Maryland General Assembly to indoctrinate, repeatedly, its members on the evil of political corruption by enriching themselves and abusing their positions of power and influence, thus destroying the public trust and confirming the longtime perception by some about politicians on the take.
For state transportation leaders to focus not just on vehicular solutions to logjams on Route 50 and the Capital Beltway, but also innovative transit options, which, though expensive, improve the environment and slow down the effects of global warming.
For admission to colleges and universities free of scandal generated by misguided parents who believe that everything is for sale, regardless of the ethical consequences.
For a competent, compassionate and moral leader in the White House.
As Thomas Jefferson said, “I steer my bark with Hope in the head, leaving Fear astern. My hopes, indeed, sometimes fail; but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy.”
Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.
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