Time may change me

by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside

Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy 2019.

By the time we post this it will be closer to mid-January. So, yes. Yes, we are into the new year, but I am going to keep saying it. I still need practice writing 2019. What is it about odd numbers? They do not seem as kind and warm as even numbers.

I love the notion of starting with a clean page. Tabula rasa. Starting over, and for a time you truly believe that you can be anything, do anything, that the world is your oyster. I feel so gratified starting a new page in my daily journal of to-do lists. I feel organized and deliberate and accomplished without even doing much of anything. Don’t get me started on the color coding.

Seriously. In red. We walked through a lot of change in 2018 at the Foundation. And much of the journey begun last year has not yet ended. But honestly, I have to say I think it is the new normal.

There are of course some things that I would like to change about last year, something big like a hurricane for example. And there are some small things that I wish I had handled differently. But there are many more things that I hope will stay the same in 2019.

So, what are the things that I’d like to see stay the same?

I hope our basic trust in people and hope for the future do not waiver. We believe that people are inherently good. And we so very often see the best for their families, for their neighbors and for their communities. This feeds our hope that things can be different, that things can change and improve.

This is not just a pie in the sky, wish I may, wish I might. This optimism is based on the intrinsic value and strength of our work. We see measurable outcomes and improvements every day.

We trust in the promise of philanthropy. We have witnessed the power of your generosity. Your charitable giving can and does change the world.

There is also intrinsic value in getting outside of ourselves, flexing our empathy and increasing our understanding of others.  I’m not sure you can measure all of that precisely, but you sure can feel it.

So, now I’m feeling that maybe a year that ends in an odd number is going to be alright after all…