HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Having counted down the days until we could all see 2013 EC in our rearview mirrors, we’re now asking, how can we be sure that 2014 EC will be better? By making it so.
Let us take the lessons of 2013 EC forward into this new year and resolve to do better—to be a better listener, a better friend, a better partner and a better neighbor. Let us help our neighbors by continuing to support small local businesses.
Many of us are glad to see the end of 2013 EC. For many of us it was a year filled with too much of the bad things and too little of the good stuff. Few, if any of us at all, will remember that year fondly.
We hope with 2014 EC, the new year, that things will be different.
A new year is just another set of 365 days, a new rotation around the sun. At its simplest form it’s just the resetting of a clock consisting of 12 months. Some will even say the only significance a year has is marking the passing of long-term time.
But then again, it would not hurt to look at a new year as a time to start again, to make those changes we always wanted, to finally embark on those ventures we said we would dare do, to finish those tasks we said we would accomplish.
With every new year comes new hope after all.
According to some studies, more than 50% of people make New Year’s resolutions every year—to lose weight, quit smoking, work out, save money and more. However, 80% of those polled generally abandoned those resolutions by the end of the second month.
Resolving to lose weight or eat healthier is a great personal goal, but maybe what we need more than ever this year is to continue to focus on improving the lives of those that are affected by conflict. Incorporate new activities into your routine that not only make you feel healthy but make you feel GOOD going for a walk in nature, painting or drawing, reading a book, checking in with loved ones these are the activities that help you have a calmer outlook on what promises to be another challenging year. Don’t forget to take breaks from social media and 24/7 news coverage to recharge your batteries.
In addition to checking in with friends and loved ones, don’t forget that everyone around you has also had a challenging year. Be kind to the clerks at your favorite grocery stores or bar, who likely have dealt with more than their fair share of workplace changes, challenging customers and income insecurity in the past year. Be kind to the shoe shiners and the taxi attendants who are not at fault for the ever increasing congested traffic. Be kind to the local business owners who have had to juggle caring for their staff and customers during ever-changing government regulations, unexpected closures and the constant threat of lack of consumer goods against the desire to stay open and keep revenues flowing to avoid going out of business.
To ensure 2014 EC is a better year than the last, we must also continue to do our part to keep each other safe by practicing social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings as much as possible. Although COVID-19 vaccines are available here in Ethiopia, it will still be several months if not years before everyone who wants a vaccine can get one. Slowing the spread to protect exhausted and overworked hospital workers is more important now than ever
No doubt this new year will bring in as much challenges as the previous one, if not more. But because we have learned from 2013 EC by living through it we will be in a better position to face and conquer those challenges.
We all must do our part to make 2014 EC the better year we hope it will be.
Again, a happy new year to all.

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