From Bevan Springer
New York Amsterdam News


NEW YORK (December 31, 2009) – Another year has come to an end and as everyone gets into the party spirit, folks are undoubtedly listing their resolutions.

For me instead, it’s my second season of thanksgiving for the year, as I choose to give thanks for family, friends and even those challenging spirits who tested my strength, forcing me to dig deeper and become stronger in the midst of adversity. Indeed, “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

In 2010, I will try my best not to “conform to the pattern of the world” by drafting resolutions at the end of this year, only to break them in the second week of January. Rather, I embrace the teachings of my shepherds, that change is the only constant in life, and when change is necessary, not to change can be destructive.

Change does not have to take place on January 1. We have 365 days of the year to embrace change, which often begins with a decision, simple or difficult.

So whether it is starting an exercise regimen, embracing healthy eating habits, breaking unhealthy personal ties or unproductive business relationships, starting a savings account or making a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and excellence, today, like any, is as good of a day to make that decision.

The late Reverend Edwin Louis Cole wrote that we should let “the past be our teacher; the present our opportunity; and the future our friend.”

He considered the tenses of time to be the fulcrum of living. “We learn from the past how to live in the present in order to have a great future. What is past is dead and lives only to the degree we carry it with us. Carrying the dead weight of what is gone will eventually kill what we want to live today,” he explains.

So we press and stretch forward optimistically, seizing today’s opportunity and hoping to help someone, just as we have been helped in this journey of life.

But we should be mindful of what Thomas Edison taught: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

As we enter the new year, let’s not forget also to give God His praises, for without Him, none of us would have made it into the new year – and for that, we give thanks.

Blessings to all for a highly favored 2010.

Bevan Springer, a New York Amsterdam News columnist who writes frequently on travel and tourism issues, is the President of the New Jersey-headquartered Marketplace Excellence LLC – a full-service, integrated mass communications agency committed to excellence in the fields of public relations, marketing and media coaching. He also produces the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism – CMEx.

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