One [wo]man can make a difference, and EVERY [wo]man should try!

Look twice. See the world differently. Grass can grow through concrete.

Yes, remote working and Zoom fatigue have become part of our vernacular … BUT … stick to your core mission, values and purpose.

2020 definitely proved to be one heck of a moment in time to show superior strength. Now many hope that 2021 will bring brighter days. It’s time to ready ourselves for whatever challenges come our way.

It’s a LEAP … you can do it!

2020 proved the unparalleled value that entrepreneurial businesses bring to their communities.

Entrepreneurs are truly some of the most resilient, most optimistic, and hardest working people ever.

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“With the pandemic, small business relied on support from the community, and small businesses are surviving because of their extra support; it’s becoming a trend," said Lorraine M. Cocci of Bristol Borough. "I feel the community discovered the wonderful extras that a small business can give, the extra customer service they don’t experience in a big box shop, the graciousness of the small business owner and also a great product. Coming into 2021, I hope the community will experience and support more small businesses as a new trend from the past year."

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Remember: This too shall pass.

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“I compare growing up in Bristol to our experiences this time with 2020," shares the Rev. Ed Jones (BHS Class of 1957) from Wilmington, Del. "I grew up in the 40s and 50s and we weathered World War II, the Korean War and a hurricane whereby entire houses were floating down the Delaware, the Asian flu that shut down the nation, Sputnik threat, and Congress and Ike signing off to cancel the GI Bill for educating returning GIs. Through it all, every Christmas the city council arranged for Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations. Loudspeakers were put up on Mill Street and in Harriman to play Christmas carols and seasonal songs. Every New Year there was a new need in the schools and the school board ALWAYS passed any bills where education was needed. A town that was looked down upon as a former industrial town wasting away has risen from almost oblivion to be voted the most promising small town in the USA, receiving a $500,000 award for development. The tests of life will always arise. Likewise, the promise of Scripture rises more strongly, ‘I am the Lord who heals you.' Exodus 15."

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Little by little, you can work toward your objectives and vision with an eye for the future.

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“We still have a few tough months ahead of us, but Historic Bristol Borough is poised for a "rebirth" in the spring," advises Bill Pezza, president, Bristol Borough Raising the Bar. "God willing, if we wear masks, distance socially, support our small businesses until then, and take the vaccine, May will bring a return to the excitement and optimism we enjoyed pre-COVID. Stay safe, everyone and stay positive."

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More proof that family can be a profound source of emotional and practical support, strength, and joy.

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“Despite the roller coaster, 2020 has taught us to count our blessings and appreciate the little things," said Dr. Brittany E. Bontemps of Yardley. "We hugged and didn’t let go, loved unconditionally, and prayed extra. Each day brought some sort of stress and anxiety, but I have never been more thankful and appreciative for my family's hugs, hearing belly laughing because of a silly joke, and listening to near ‘tween emotional distress. 2021 will certainly have its challenges, but if we can take some of the lessons we learned from '20, we're going to appreciate life just as much as we did this year!”

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And remember: next year, it’ll be different … We are way more powerful than we realize! Focus on the upside of a downside situation.

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“Accentuate the positive; there is ALWAYS a positive, you just must look for it. Put your energy into finding it, as opposed to the opposite. Amazing what the mind and body can do when directed,” admitted R. Christopher Strack of Burlington, N.J.

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The world must continue to work together to confront COVID-19. The circumstances have been severe and this crisis has also presented strong reminders of the importance of resilience and of international solidarity.

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“Covid-19, whatever its origin, with its speedy and pernicious spread around the globe, educated us once again how we are all connected physically, psychologically, and spiritually," acknowledged Susan M. Rubinstein, Esq., Furlong. "Our hope for the future, whether limited to 2021 or extended beyond, is that we continue to internalize the acute sense of connectivity that the pandemic engendered. To think of people and their countries as separate from one another is not only fundamentally flawed as Covid-19 has taught us, but it is also fundamentally destructive."

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The true lesson has been learned. Health is the real wealth!

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“My hope is that everyone remains healthy and safe as we start 2021. Hopefully it gradually becomes a better year than 2020!!” wishes Nicholas A. Rizzo, President , BCHF

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Keep extending compassion to ourselves and to others as everyone navigates any challenges together. It is truly a time for kindness in the form of listening and connecting since solid relationships can help mitigate loneliness.

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“I go into each and every day hopeful, and hopeful for the future that today will be better than yesterday. I dream of family gatherings again with cookouts and holidays," shares Valerie A. Bobb of Bristol. "I look forward to the day when you see a friend or loved one and hug them like there's no tomorrow. I look forward to children just being children again... together in school, at recess, and play dates. I look forward to an occasional night out with friends. I dream of tailgating at a concert or sporting event. I'm hopeful for 2021 to be better than any year before. We have learned to change and we have adapted. We have learned to slow down in what was an extremely busy life. We learned to appreciate the little things. We got to spend countless hours with our children, that under normal circumstances, we would never have. Moments I will cherish and never forget, even the struggles. We will overcome. We will come together. We must have faith. TOGETHER in 2021."

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The late baseball great George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr. [1895-1948] said, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

Continue to do what makes you unique. Follow your chosen path to extraordinary.

Now is not the time for subtleties. The past is in your head. The future is in your hands.

So most importantly, sprinkle KINDNESS everywhere you go. It's KEY!

Happy New Year!

Embrace it with an open heart and go forward with faith, hope, and courage.

Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail vjmrun@yahoo.com

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