By: David Stoddard

When this year began, there were people in Florida
digging through ballots upon ballots searching for
chads they could count.

Near the end of this year, a firefighter, police
officer or just some guy named Chad stood up to be
counted on that September day.

It was a year where we started out feeling so safe,
secure and able to do anything we wanted. Then came
the fears of opening envelopes, getting on planes or
shopping in the malls. We realized so much of what we
have, we take for granted.

It was a year when the most important thing to
television viewers was to either watch Friends and
record Survivor, or watch Survivor and record friends
on Thursday nights. Funny how that is the furthest
thing from anyone's mind today.

It was a year where lines at the Red Cross to donate
blood were longer than lines at the DMV, Post Office,
License Bureau, fast food drive-throughs, express
checkouts, toll booths and banks before Y2K – combined.

It was a year when the World Series was more than just
a game. It didn't really matter to most of us who won,
as long as the games were played. Sentiment was with
the Yankees and the city of New York. But our underdog
spirit for a young team in the league like the Arizona
Diamondbacks was just as strong.

It was a year when the hot news story of the year was
US Congressman Gary Condit and his relationship with a
Washington intern.

So many of us were hoping that part
of the story would just go away. Guess we need to be
more careful what we wish for.

On a more individual level…

It was a year when perhaps we lost someone near and
dear to us whom we've known all our lives. Maybe we
didn't get the chance to see them as often as we may
have liked over the years, but we are glad to have
known them. Likewise, maybe someone we never really
cared for over the years left us, just as we were
starting to understand them and ourselves.

It was a year where we lost touch with some, and yet
found others.

It was a year where something good happened to us at
least once. But for some reason we didn't quite believe
it was really happening to "us," so we let it fade.

And it was a year where we went with the flow. Didn't
makes waves. Sat back to see where we would end up.
Kept hoping for a better tomorrow. Tried to stay out of
trouble. Got out of the wrong side of the bed way too
often. Cried over spilled milk. Complained about the
cost of tea in China. And we kept hoping something good
would appear on television, but never did anything
about it, and kept watching it anyway.

While 2001 is certainly one of those years we would
love to pretend never took place or just forget, we
know we can never do that. Nor should we really want
that to actually happen.

So when that ball begins to drop at 11:59pm in New York
City on New Years Eve, take that minute to just sit and
feel it. Think about the year that was and the year
ahead. So much is uncertain. The only things we know
are what have already taken place.

So don't be afraid to have ideas and dreams of a better
tomorrow. Create some sort of image or monument of your
own to live up to. And if you ever lose your way or
that inspiration, take out this chapter on 2001. It'll
be easy to find. It has that redFind Article, white and blue
ribbon as it's bookmark.

Now….. Let's Roll!

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