Today is the first day of 2020.

A new year offers us all a chance for a much-needed fresh start; let’s resolve today to make it a great year. Hindsight is always 2020, or so the saying goes, but nobody wants to enter 2021 looking back and regretting the year that passed.

The most popular resolutions generally revolve around staying fit and healthy; losing weight; living life to the fullest; spending less and saving more; and spending more time with family and friends.

Those are some of our goals for the new year, too. And like many of you, we’ll fail, most likely because we allow small failures to derail our grand plans. According to one commonly cited statistic, only 8% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions for the whole year. The odds are against the rest of us, with most of our resolutions having fallen by the wayside by the first week of February.

But instead of focusing on the negative, let’s vow to make 2020 a good year by learning to appreciate our blessings.

2020 is a leap year, so we get a bonus day. And because that extra day just happens to fall ahead of the March primary election, we can start by resolving to be less divisive and more civil to each other, especially when it comes to discussing politics. A substantive and thoughtful political campaign season would be a godsend for this community. 2019 ended on a sour note in that regard. There are three contested races in Angelina County’s Republican primary, each with three candidates running. Our hope is that the candidates will focus on the issues that actually affect their constituents and not simply attack each other with the usual buzzwords. We’re far more interested in knowing what a potential candidate hopes to accomplish and not simply why his opponents are wrong for the job. And we don’t believe it’s too much of a stretch to say that’s what the voters are most interested in.

While we may disagree on how we get there, we all want what’s best for our community. Bashing someone supporting another candidate loses its luster when you stop to think about that other person as a neighbor, co-worker or family member. Are your political beliefs so important that you would be willing to lose a relationship with a friend or a member of your family?

That principle also applies to the municipal elections in May and November’s general election, when there’s only one locally contested race on the ballot.

Sticking with that theme, let’s all become more civic-minded. Think about how much better life could be if we gave our time and talents to the numerous community groups and nonprofit organizations that would benefit from an extra pair of helping hands. A list of the items that local nonprofits need and the volunteer opportunities that exist can be found in the newspaper on the first Monday of the month.

Making our community the best it can be also means supporting the good people (yes, even the ones in the other political party) working at all the local businesses we must patronize. We also must take advantage of the other opportunities that abound here — the youth, community, high school and Angelina College sporting events; music, theater and art at community events, local high schools and AC; and the forests and lakes that are part of nature’s bounty. We hope you’re getting the idea.

It’s time for fresh beginnings. And if we happen to get fit, lose a little weight and save some money, so much the better.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous New (and News) Year. May God continue to bless you and yours. We thank you for reading The Lufkin Daily News.

Recommended for you