Let’s rise above the challenges of a new year

It is times like these to extend a helping hand to the downtrodden

It’s difficult to look at the year ahead without a sense of uncertainty and a semblance of foreboding now that 2021 and 2022 are in the rear-view mirror.

There’s no arguing that we’re still reeling and dealing with the hangover induced by a two-year pandemic that continues to walk silently in our midst. And now you can add to the mix a virulent flu season – one particularly worrisome for the youngest and the oldest – that appears to be gathering menacing momentum.

The prognosis for the economy’s health isn’t much better in 2023 either, with the cost of everything from the fuel we burn going to the grocery store to the items we purchase all rising at an alarming rate when we can least afford it.

READ: COVID-19 benefits helped economy rebound

READ: As the economy sways, food banks are feeling the pinch

If that global reality isn’t bad enough for the average working Joe or Joanne, the spectre of the R-word hangs on the horizon, although most politicians loathe saying recession out loud. Frankly speaking, there is little room for optimism for the 99 per cent of us who aren’t part of that privileged percentile at the top.

We will, however, keep our noses above water and continue to tread within striking distance of shore because that’s what humans do, no matter how dire the straits. No matter how close we get to the snapping point, an elastic-like resilience is embedded in our past and future.

For many, it’s fortified by the the love we share with family and friends that never dampens, despite the torrents of rain we can’t control. Those little comforts we sometimes take for granted surface again to keep us going, maybe because they mean more when we’re challenged the most.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for those ravaged by homelessness, those who struggle with mental health and addiction, and those who’ve bottomed out because of any number of demons or misfortunes they could not predict or find the strength to control. Food banks and charities are struggling with too much need and not enough resources.

In times like these, it’s up to those with feet on solid ground to extend a supportive hand to the downtrodden, even when we are stuck in survival mode.

We can still make a significant difference by volunteering a few hours of idle time, offering words of comfort or a kind gesture, no questions asked, no matter how bad it gets.

In times like these, sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference for someone you don’t know.


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