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Our View: Yes, Virginia, there’s hope

Posted: December 24, 2009 3:16 p.m.
Updated: December 25, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

It’s likely many residents of the Santa Clarita Valley can’t relate to the charm of fresh-fallen holiday snow, but we beg your indulgence.

There’s a wonder in stepping out of the house and feeling enveloped in the absolute stillness and quiet of a thick blanket of white over everything.

For even just a moment, the world can feel at peace; one’s life can feel calmed; hope can seem within reach. The scent of fireplace smoke in the air is like incense.

As 2009 draws to a close, many of us are likely bidding this year good riddance. The past 12 months have been rife with heartache and hardship throughout our valley, our state, our nation, our world.

Unemployment. Underemployment. Foreclosures. Massive debt, and still not enough jobs created by President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill. Swine flu — the list could go on.

Locally, we had one business after another go under, and nonprofit organizations felt the financial screws tighten.

Suffice it to say this has been a hard year for many. But at the end of the day, we at least can still have hope.

Americans tend to be a pretty resolute bunch. We bounced back from the Great Depression; we can weather the recession we’re in now.

And in some ways, the best gift we may receive this holiday season is the reminder that the most appropriate thing we can give is ourselves.

Maybe, just maybe, this hellish year can prove to have been a thorn in the side of our consumer culture. Perhaps we can worry less about not having as much money as in years past to spend on “stuff” to give as gifts — and be more concerned with giving of ourselves.

If you have family or close friends around you, love them; make the most of your moments with them.

Without much searching, one can find a variety of ways to volunteer in the Santa Clarita Valley, from aiding our seniors and single mothers to supporting domestic violence victims and stocking the SCV Food Pantry.

If we have anything, we have hope we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. We have hope in the opportunities there for the taking.

Charles Dickens rightly said: ‘Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

It’s been a hard year for all of us, harder for some than others.

But today, if but for a moment, find some stillness and hold onto hope for tomorrow.

And while you’re at it, pass that hope on to someone else.

We at The Signal raise our metaphorical glasses, bid 2009 adieu, welcome 2010 with clear eyes, and wish all of you a Merry Christmas.

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