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For the first time last year, I participated in choosing a word as my focus for the year. (See January 5 Word of the Year https://louisebergin.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/word-of-the-year/) In 2020, I chose “kindness,” which turned out to be very apt.

Although I didn’t always practice it, I did try to extend empathy to those with whom I disagreed. Except for fictional characters, there are very few actually evil people I encounter. Most of them have a difference of opinion, which I may believe wrong, but that’s not usually evil. Focusing on kindness, allowed me to feel for those facing difficulties. Maybe I could help, even if just providing a listening ear or offering a prayer.

So for 2021, I decided another word should be chosen. After much reflection, I’ve decided this year’s word should be “courage.” After the resurrection, some of Jesus’s first words to his disciples are “Do not be afraid.” St. John Paul II began his papacy with the same words proclaimed to the world.

From these proclamations, I’ve taken 2021’s word to be Courage.

We don’t know what will happen in the coming year. Maybe the pandemic will continue to rage or maybe it will be defeated. Will another catastrophe strike? We don’t know, but what we can know is that we will face life with Courage.