Page 17 - Scene Magazine 45-12 December 2020
P. 17

   Local Interest
BY AARON D. EDLEFSON, MPA
Director, Calhoun County Veterans Affairs
   As 2020 draws to a close, many are breathing a collective sigh hoping that 2021 is a more uplifting year. I do not need to enumerate the reasons why 2020 was challenging. We are daily in- undated with news, statistics, and data that reinforce what we already know. People throughout our community,
Ripples
of others. Educational staff, whether continuing with in-person learning
or teaching virtually, are working to ensure that our next generation is pro- vided with education regardless of cir- cumstance. Organizations are working together now more than ever to ensure that people are fed and provided with the personal protective equipment that they need to be safe. Coalitions that focus on housing are working to ensure that people can keep their housing or find housing if they are without. Com- panies have found ways to empower employees to work from home to keep them and others safe. In the absence of parties, parades have been organized
adversity. It cannot be done alone. Everyone plays an important role in the story that is us. As 2021 dawns on us, take time to consider your role.
our nation, and our world are strug- gling. They are struggling financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. These struggles are nothing new, but the events of this year have amplified them exponentially. Yet, in the face of adversity, we continue.
There is an old story I once heard that is presented from the prospective of a man on his death bed. As a young man, his goal had been to change the world. Yet, as he lay dying, he knows he did not do that. He realizes that his failure stems from not changing himself first. Too late he understands that by changing himself it would have changed his fami- ly and those changes would have rippled out and might have changed the world. That is how we should live each day, with the understanding that our actions influence all of those around us.
In a year that proverbially seems so dark, there is example after example of beacons of hope and perseverance. Hospital staff, in hospitals that are
at or near capacity, continue to work through exhaustion. They, along with first responders, are disregarding their own safety in exchange for the safety
to celebrate birthdays. I have even noticed that holidays lights have been displayed a little earlier than usual.
Each day we must make a con- science decision to provide kindness and compassion to those we encounter. You never know how a simple act of kindness can change the world.
The ways in which our world has changed go on and on. What remains constant is our desire to overcome
 Providing services for veterans and their families.
Federal Benefits Emergency County Burial and Programs Assistance Benefits Benefits
                                                                                                          (269) 969-6735 • 190 East Michigan Avenue, Third Floor, Battle Creek, Michigan calhouncountymi.gov/departments/veterans_affairs/index.php
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