Editorial: Be the change you want to see in 2018

Let’s be honest: 2017 was not the best of times for Brooklyn, for the city or for the country.

It’s a depressing truth to confront, but one which must be acknowledged. There’s a general feeling among people that they can’t wait for this year to end — echoing similar statements made a year ago.

In just a couple of days, a new year will dawn. As with every new year celebration, there’s a reemergence of hope that things will be much better in 2018 than in the years which preceded it.

We can’t say for certain if that will be true. But we’re big believers in what Mahatma Gandhi said long ago about people being the change they wish to see in the world.

In Brooklyn, we can do that by being active in each of our communities. It’s not only about marching in the streets for a cause, but also actively participating in projects that improve a neighborhood. It’s also about petitioning those in government about problems which we see and working together to find solutions.

Activism brings about change, but we also need to change our attitudes as people. We need to reject stereotypes once and for all and realize that we’re all in this place for the same purpose. We may have myriad differences, but we all live together side by side in the greatest, most diverse county on Earth. We want our children to live in security, safety and prosperity — and we want their children to do the same.

If we can co-exist, if we can resolve our differences without tearing each other down, what excuse does the rest of the world have not to follow our lead?

This year was filled with all kinds of disturbing events — daily Twitter rants from the president that put the world on edge; an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election; a new tax law that will redistribute massive amounts of wealth to the nation’s richest people; hurricanes that leveled parts of our country; sexual harassment scandals rocking Hollywood and Washington; two terrorist attacks in New York that, thankfully, weren’t as horrific as they could have been; and (the most minor of these events) a city transportation system that’s falling apart before our eyes.

Let’s hope and pray 2018 will bring happier times. We could use the break!

We wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year. May 2018 be a year of change within our communities and within ourselves.

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