How far we’ve come


Mark DeLap
Posted 11/30/22

Weekly Editorial by Mark DeLap

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How far we’ve come



To say that we have come a million miles from two years ago would be one of the biggest understatements in the history of mankind.

As people look back at their New Year resolutions since January of 2020, it is not hard to see and feel the optimism that a new decade was promising. What it delivered was nothing less than devastation, not only in a small country or in a portion of the United States, but globally the cheers in the early moments of the new year slowly gave way to silence and shock.

Who knew that hundreds of thousands of people would not live to watch the ball drop in 2021. For those who are alive and remain, the altering of life has been staggering. What hits hardest is the fact that the changes are not coming gradually, but quickly and society has had to adapt quickly.

Something that humanity is not always good at.

We’ve were reduced to no human contact, a people who have had to mask their emotions, tough it out and wait for the storm to pass over. Along with the pandemic, there has been unrest due to a country split in half by politics. There have been uncontrollable riots, more deaths, and a political circus that everyone hoped would be over in early November is still continuing with no end in sight.

It seems as if everyone, including nature is just sick and tired of being sick and tired. It has spawned spurts of disaster of epic proportion. From wildfires to super typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, extreme heat, summer snowfalls and killer wasps, the earth is under siege.

In the past two years, according to Andrea Thompson who writes for the Scientific American, “This is only the second time that the official alphabetical list of hurricane names has been used up, meaning forecasters have had to move to the supplementary list of Greek letter names.”

Last week, friends and families gathered. The post-COVID generation. Changes this year included no mandates of 10 or less as America celebrated Thanksgiving. Traditionally a time to reflect on the harvest of the year and to give thanks for the many blessings. Most are still shuddering at the thought of jabs and masks and lab-created viruses. And yet, still there are some places which are still requiring masks, such as the Platte County Legacy Home.

Blessings? People have been so focused on the fussing and the fighting and the sickness and the natural disasters that even the word, “blessing” has not graced the family table in the past few years. If what we have gone through  has taught us anything, it has trained us to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. Though life of late has been a cruel taskmaster that has caused many to lose focus, to lose heart and to lose hope, it almost feels like springtime with the warm breezes of hope drifting in as we move father and farther from the COVID shore.

Perhaps we needed this holiday more than anyone can imagine. Perhaps, for just one day, people needed to find strength in family and friends. Conversation was focused on good memories and the blessing of the moment. Also, how we have come through one of the darkest periods in American history.

The grateful didn’t invite politics or pandemics or negativity to the dinner table. For just one day. For one day, we all fought back and took back our focus. We started taking back our hope. We took back the word “blessing.” Oh, the economy was nothing to rejoice over, but perhaps that will change in 2023 also.

As we went around our dinner tables this year and told someone what we were thankful for, perhaps we realized that very real fact that even in the midst of a horrid two-plus years, there have been good things. Perhaps great things. Things that you couldn’t focus upon until you were given a day purposed for gratefulness.

And then. Perhaps we have even grown strong enough to speak about hope without fear that it would be dashed. To speak about what your prayer is. What you want your life to be when you leave November and head into the last bit of life left in 2022, realizing that the old girl got us through. There was a little song written by Irving Berlin and used in the 1954 movie, “White Christmas.”  It says, "When I'm worried, And I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep, counting my blessings. When my bankroll, Is gettin' small, I think of when I had none at all. And I fall asleep, counting my blessings.”

Welcome December this week and take back your right to be grateful and dare to hold on to your hope.