Things are upside down? Look more closely

The Examiner

Most of you reading this are old enough to remember how relieved you felt when 2020 was winding down to make way for a new year.

That's because 2020 was one for the books – the kind of year that people yet unborn will have to hear about at every family gathering for decades to come. It was that crazy.

Like plants craving sunlight, we turned toward 2021, firm in our belief that it couldn't get any wackier, and for six days at least, we were right.

Charita Goshay

Five months in, and we're still wrestling with the impact of the Jan. 6 insurrection, as well as our ongoing fight against the pandemic, turbulence over race relations, a newly ruptured conflict in the Middle East and the emergence of dark web sabotage.

On paper, it would appear we have no reason to feel any better about 2021 than 2020.

And yet.

There's much good to be had. We just need to embrace it.

It's only human nature to slow down and gawk at the car crash, but like junk food, too much scandal, controversy and conflict can poison the soul.

Slowly, surely, we're climbing out of the wreckage caused by the pandemic, though the losses suffered by thousands of American families can never be restored.

But there is light ahead.

Really, it's been there all along; we've just been too overwhelmed to see it.

For months now, the men of Temple Israel in Canton, Ohio have been building and donating desks so that children have their own space to study and work at home.

Sometimes, true religion is not that complicated. Sometimes, it's something you can put your hands on.

"We've built 84 desks so far, and have enough money to build another 30 without additional fundraising," said Rabbi Emeritus John Spitzer. "The basic issue now is finding places for the desks to go. We've sent desks to Canton Township, Plain Township and Canton City Schools."

The Grove Family Farm in Beloit, Ohio is donating 5,000 fresh eggs to the Alliance Community Pantry. Eggs are cheap right now, but it doesn't matter how little they cost if you can't afford them. Though the country is recovering, hunger remains entrenched.

Since 2017, Daniel and Amanda Anschutz of Lake Township are cofounders of Compassion Delivered, a nonprofit organization that has prepared 10,000 meals for people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses.

Every town in America has these people.

Children have lost and suffered a lot this past year, and while it won't magically restore all that's been lost, being able to ride a bike in the summer is one of the supreme joys of childhood. The freedom felt is one of those memories we carry with us all the days of our lives.

We live in a culture in which bad news can always be found. Sometimes, it feels like the equivalent of trying to drink from a firehose. It is in those moments that we must make a conscious choice to look toward the good.

Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or charita.goshay@cantonrep.com.