It has become seemingly trite to reflect on resolutions at this time in our calendar year. The rhetoric abounds with resolution trends, some picking on personal vulnerabilities. While the marketing side of me expects this, every day brings opportunity for new resolve. We’re fortunate to have the advantage of seeing promising opportunities, and I contend the gateway for advancement goes back to the fundamentals – none more essential than a solid educational grounding.
In this coming year, the opportunities to advance are unprecedented. I feel the climate, I see the potential, and I know there will be major gains. In other words, I believe. Yes, I’m optimistic. To me, it’s all about attitude. In this world we have choices. In this country we have the freedom to capitalize on opportunity for real gain.
As a graduate student, I had a wonderful and privileged opportunity to live and study in full-time residence at a land grant institution, and when walking my dog, we would sometimes take a path that took us by the massive livestock research centers and the sheep farm. I took some time to observe sheep. Strange, I know, but there is one observation I found to be interesting. In a group, the watchful and ever mindful sheep seemed to have one eye on each other and the other eye on a distant spot. Therein lies an important example or analogy of watching or protecting each other while looking toward our future. To be sure, we are dependent on each other, and there is comfort or perhaps a mandate to look out for each other, but we cannot dismiss the future. We can gauge our potential by keeping a close watch on each other, but where we’re going is critical, so let’s make sure we’re keenly focused on where we want to go. Although it has built in uncertainly, the future demands our sharp focus.
As we begin the New Year, our hope is high, our spirits are committed, and our resolve is to make a discernable difference through learning and applying the new knowledge, skills and affect intentionally toward building a better community for all. The essence of this is rooted in a “can do” style of optimism as good things will happen in 2011. Believe.