Goodbye 2015, and welcome 2016! Have a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year, everyone.
Let's welcome 2016 with open arms and a genuine smile.
What does 2016 have in store for us, folks? Surely there will be change, because change is inevitable. Our attitude to change can make or break us.
Just as the seasons change, our outlook on life changes, too, as we get older. Our priorities and perspectives change as we age.
There will be opportunities and possibilities awaiting us as we continue to live our lives the best we can. Along the way, there will be obstacles to overcome. But, as the adage says, where there's a will, there's a way.
Baby boomers like me have more time to do what's best for us: traveling, gardening, volunteering in church or school, writing, reading, watching movies we missed, doing more exercise and physical activity, cooking and learning to cook new recipes, helping take care of grandkids, and whatever new hobbies we adopt.
For Millenials, like my two young adult children, possibilities and opportunities are out there for the taking. It's just a matter of positive attitude and right approaches to what matters in life.
Since success is subjective, it's not easy to quantify. To some, it means having a lot of money, having a house and two or more cars and a well-educated family. To others, it might mean having a stable job, a good business, winning awards and so on. To some, success is simply having a good, decent healthy and debt-free life.
What matters as 2015 ends is to look forward to what the future holds for us. With an open mind and a positive attitude, keep learning something new and making a difference in others' lives. That way, we can become better than what we were.
It's up to us what we make of our future. With optimism and determination, we work our way up to improve our lot. Every situation is an opportunity for us to become better.
We want to be civic-minded citizens by observing the laws of the land, paying our taxes on time, and voting on Election Day. We want to make a difference in the world. We want to contribute to the greatness of our country.
How? By serving in the government, if we're into politics. Or by joining the armed forces, if we're passionate about defending our country and what it stands for. Or by working in schools as a teacher helping students to graduate. Or, if we own businesses, by employing and hiring legal employees and paying them just wages.
What does 2016 have in store for you? What chances will you have to make your world a better place?
-Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Appeared in the Opinion page of the award-winning Suffolk News-Herald, Thursday, December 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.suffolknewsherald.com.