Here at the dawn of a new decade, I pray that 2020 will exceed your expectations in every wonderful way possible. Last year was challenging in many ways. I pray that we reexamine and reconsider the choices we’ve made and look to this new year with optimism fueled by the steely determination to make positive change not only possible but common.

The Me-Too movement has continued to stand behind and up for, even more women who have joined the unfortunate ranks of those who have been victimized by men unworthy to be called men. To be clear, there have been men abused either physically or verbally by women, they almost never report their experience. There have also been men falsely accused of some horrible assault of some kind. I pray that women and men learn to respect and honor each other. 

In my home state of Connecticut, the last couple of months has seen a terrible spike in domestic violence. Each week there was a murder more horrible and heartbreaking than the previous week. The murders were presumably committed by the male partners of these women. I pray that in 2020 we will reach the tipping point. I pray that we will decide that we as a society will no longer stand by with prayers and thoughts while women get slaughtered by the men who should have loved and protected them, or simply left. 

I pray that mothers and fathers will teach their sons how to embrace not just typical maleness but the fulness of their humanity. I pray that we will rebuke the saying that “boys don’t cry”. May all boys in 2020 and beyond feel comfortable having a full range of human emotion and be taught to express those emotions appropriately. 

Saying that “boys don’t cry” teaches them that their feelings don’t matter. Boys that believe their feelings don’t matter grow into men who believe that their feelings don’t matter. Men who believe their feelings don’t matter don’t take care of themselves and they are shitty parents and lovers. Men who believe that their feeling don’t matter have no idea how to express their feelings in a healthy way. So, they do what they know how to do. They might slap their wife rather than saying she hurt his feelings. They might beat up their children because they’re overwhelmed and frustrated and can’t put the words together to say that. They might, kill their lover for something harsh she said or did. I pray that in 2020 we have a firm commitment to make teach boys how to be emotionally healthy, and men how to feel emotionally safe.

I pray that women are honored, respected and treated as the equals that they are. Please don’t let a short skirt, tight blouse, or flirty banter provoke any man to feel that he has permission to go a single step past what a woman desires and is comfortable with. I pray that real men will stand in defense of women and against men who bring shame to our brotherhood.

This year is a big election year hear in America. We will vote for congressmen, senators, and the president. America is close to evenly split supporting or not supporting our current president. Talking about his actions has led to arguments, hateful rhetoric, the ending of friendships, and even violence. I pray that in 2020 we realize the simple truth that we are one. Beyond the artificial bounds of political affiliation or even national origin, we are one. We fail to reconcile ourselves with that truth at our own peril. I pray that 2020 sees a record amount of participation in the American democratic process, and we vote for a person that will bring us together and not push us further apart.

Our climate is changing and there is nothing good about that. Some folks think that we can impact that change for good or for bad. I pray that the people we have elected to lead our country look out for the best interest of we the people, the corporations can take care of themselves. I pray that rather than throwing a piece of paper on the ground more people will pick up a piece of paper from the ground. Every one of us can make a difference, and I pray that difference is for our collective good.

The beginning of the year is a time when many of us set goas or resolutions. I pray that you set goals that are meaningful and inspiring. May you have the resolve to work every day to accomplish those goals and know the thrill off success. I pray that as you move through this year that in some way you can find inspiration and be inspiration. Let’s be opportunistic in looking for ways to be kind and helpful to each other. Give a smile or compliment to a stranger. It will brighter your day as much as it does theirs.

If you are lonely, I pray the warmth of love visits you and that you will know that the surest way to receive love is to give it away freely. I pray that we learn to look out for each other and say through our actions “yes I am my brothers’ keeper”. I pray the strong protect the weak and may we all move closer to each other. 

So, as we begin our journey into this brand-new decade, I pray that we soak up every chance to marvel at nature, to laugh, to share, to love, to grow, and thrive. I pray that this is your best year ever. If you are sad, I pray that you reach out for help, if you have no one else please reach out to me. I’ll have no bright ideas or sage advice, but I’d be honored to witness you. I will see you as a person worthy of being heard.  That I can do. I pray that all of us become hyper-aware of those souls lost in darkness, and reach out in love, knowing that we will benefit as much as they do.

In closing I pray that 2020 will be everything you hope it will be plus a bag of chips and a Fanta orange soda. With love I wish you a super Happy New Year! Amen.

Stay Fly and Fly High,