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Building Bridges by Cheryl Dizon-Reynante    

Wishes for you in 2020

by Cheryl Dizon-Reynante

Not only has another year gone by, but so has another decade!

Significant events between 2010 and 2020 include two Royal weddings, the ice bucket challenge of 2014, Apple’s release of racially-diverse emojis in 2015, the #metoo movement beginning in 2017, the Humboldt Broncos hockey team tragedy in 2018, and the victories of Bianca Andreescu and Toronto Raptors in 2019. In addition, we saw Justin Trudeau, Rodrigo Duterte, and Donald Trump take office this past decade.

Across social media platforms, we regularly see people posting parts of their lives. We see stories of joy, triumph, tragedy and heartache. These significant and personal events, along with countless others, have all been greeted with varying responses. Across mainstream media and social media, there were expressions of criticism, fear-mongering and negative commentary. But of greater note are the other types of comments, those that exemplify empathy, kindness, and support for fellow human beings. Comments of compassion for others and hashtags such #spreadkindness, #love and #peace have a lasting effect on social media. This tidal wave of positivity and support meets the negativity and slander head on, and in my humble opinion, wins out.

There is no doubt that there exists a positive energy out there that is a growing force. There are many stories out there that highlight the goodness in people, and mainstream media often overlooks these tales of heroism and kindness. They are captured in smaller snippets on social media sites, and together with the positive responses, this is evidence that people do live, act and think with compassion. Showing empathy, living with kindness and mercy, and understanding differences are gestures and acts that are alive and well, even in the face of hatred and tragedy.

Let us keep this in mind as we head into 2020 and the next decade and begin to dream of the times ahead. I wish for you kindness, courage, compassion, selflessness and hope. The human spirit is strong and will carry you through the joyful and difficult times. Remember:

  • Mistakes are gifts. Stop punishing yourself and think about what they have taught you.
  • Push yourself past your comfort zone. Challenge yourself and grow. To stop learning means to stop living.
  • If you are carrying fear, sadness, guilt or shame, stop ignoring it. The only way to ease the pain is to go through it. Talk about it, journal, reflect, feel the emotions, and then let it go.
  • Material things are just things; they are replaceable. Don’t let them get in the way of relationships with loved ones, which are unique and meaningful.
  • Build your team. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.
  • Live by the new golden rule: Treat others as they would like to be treated.

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi

Cheryl Dizon-Reynante is a licensed therapist with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

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