WORDS OF WISDOM: A Time to Give Back


by Neal Lemery

September seems like a good time to start fresh, to start a new year. It’s the beginning of the school year, it’s harvest time, and the weather is changing.
September is also the new year according to Jewish tradition, and is the start of the ecumenical year in the Orthodox church. It is the historical new year in Russia, and was the start of the new year in ancient Egypt.
A new year is a time of new beginnings, a fresh start, new resolutions to change our ways and to move ahead, adapting to change.

This year, September seems like a good time to reassess how we are living, how we are coping with all the changes and challenges that the pandemic has brought.
I’m ready for a fresh start, looking back, but also looking ahead. We are called to look at the fruits of our labors this busy and often confusing year, a year we have been compelled to make continuing adaptations in our lives. Looking at September as a new year is my way of not only assessing what we are doing, but where we need to be going, how we can be builders of a better world.

Denzel Washington calls us to look inward. “At the end of the day, it’s not about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

I’ve just completed a postcard poetry festival, sharing short poems I’ve written on post cards, and mailing them to a list of strangers, who are also lovers of poetry. They are sending me their poems, too, sharing their creativity and inspiring all of us to bring some literary beauty to the world. I’m carrying that idea further, sharing some inspirational quotes or short poems to people and local businesses that have brightened my life during these challenging times.

We can all bring a bit of cheer to our corner of the world, and make a difference, giving back.