In cultures around the world, the arrival of a new year means more than the mere changing of the calendar. It is a time of cleansing and renewal, an opportunity to set past disappointments aside and to look ahead with optimism.
But let’s be honest: These are not the easiest of times in which to set aside fear in favor of optimism.
The financial meltdown of four or five years ago lingers like a hangover from a holiday party that went on much too long. The economy continues its slow recovery; Georgia’s unemployment rate last month was 8.5 percent, down a full percentage point from a year earlier and down almost two full percentage points from 2010. But it is sign of diminished expectations when a statewide jobless rate of 8.5 percent is considered evidence of progress.
And as too many of our fellow Americans know, those cold, impersonal numbers hide deep personal pain, loss and frustration. The American dream and its inherent promise that hard work will be rewarded no longer