December 05, 2015

What Will the New Year Bring?

It’s that time of the year when there seems to be a convergence of energy and exhaustion, hustling and bustling with list making being taken to a fine art – to do … done, to do … done, to do … done. So much, much to do with little, little time left in 2015. Yes, this year is almost over and a new year awaits us around the corner. Am I ready?  Are you ready? Are we ready?  Well, ready or not, here come it comes.

2016 - the sixteenth year of the twenty-first century; the sixteenth year of the third millennium. To this country girl, those words sound pretty auspicious. And it makes me wonder, what will 2016 bring to us here at home and around the world we all share. The known and the unknown all wrapped up in a brand new year.

What I do know for me is 2016 will mark my sixth decade of being!  Yes, even as I type those words, I am equally amazed and grateful I will turn the big 6-0 in the new year.  And speaking of birthdays, those folks who were born on February 29 will have a “real” birthday thanks to 2016 being a leap year.  And sports fans will delight in the new year as the 2016 Summer Olympics will get underway in Rio de Janeiro.  Those are some of the known 2016 happenings. I can’t help but wonder what else this new year will bring.

I have no crystal ball, no magic mirror or hidden window of information.  What I do have is my sense of hope.  My fervent hope that 2016 will bring a greater sense of peace in our world. Though skeptics may say it’s not remotely possible, I remain steadfast in my belief it is possible and each of us can help make that happen. I believe every action and every thought contributes to the greater whole. Together we can and must do good things, great things in the new year in order to help assure the world is one our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will live in with a greater sense of belonging, worth and yes, peace.

How to get to that more peaceful place?  It’s a challenging question with many answers. My own answer lies in picture books. Yes, picture books and the power of reading them aloud to our children. What if every adult around the world had beautiful books to share with a child each and every day? And in that reading aloud process, the adults also let our children know they matter, as does every other person in this world we share. By reading to our children, we can show them and share with them that even though people are different in many ways, everyone – children and adults alike – all have the same basic needs – to feel loved, respected, valued, needed.  To know they matter.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? So simple and so needed.  So, I encourage every adult who is reading this to come to the library and find some wonderful picture books to share with the child or children in your life.  Read and talk with your children, your grandchildren, nieces, nephews or the child next door. Make the time and make the effort to do it – every single day.  Lives will change – yours, included. I guarantee it.

Here’s to 2016 and to making our world a better and safer place for everyone everywhere. Let’s do it, one picture book at a time.
Kathleen Ahern

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