Stepping forward into 2021

by Lillian Ireland

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Small acts, large acts, some seen and many unseen, imprint the very fabric of life holding and uniting us together.

Whether it be David Suzuki’s wise and timely words or his and Tara’s example as they help raise their grandchildren, their presence has been felt by millions over the decades. Be it a nudge or an outright admonition to change our ways individually, locally, corporately, provincially, federally or globally, they have helped change and shape policy while inspiring others towards awareness and action for our precious planet and all it’s inhabitants.

Another example of Ralph Emerson’s memorable quote is Jill Schroder, a Suzuki Elder who in fact helped people breathe easier and safer by making non-disposable masks in the early months of the pandemic. By encouraging others to do the same, countless masks were made for care providers allowing safer contact with their clients. For this and other positive actions, she received a generous prize package through BC CBC’s Acts of Kindness contest. Congratulations Jill!

As you move into 2021, may you be inspired in the ways you treat each other and your own part of the world; whether by helping raise a child, raising awareness for endangered species, planting life into the soil including seeds and trees, or working towards a social justice and/or environmental justice concern dear to you. May you continue your momentum knowing, collectively, all actions matter.


I’m dreaming of a non-Covid New Year,
just like the ones we used to know.
2020 was awful but ’21 is hopeful, with several vaccines now on the go.

Wearing our masks when we’re together, maintain two metres where we go.
Healthy habits help protect us, frontline workers help defend us.
They’re our heroes, this we know.

Thank you all who’ve pulled together,
Sacrifices made from young to old;
Resilience and kindness, special traits that are timeless,
They’re some of the stories that are told.

I’m dreaming of a non-Covid New Year.
Many possibilities in store.
May your year be healthy and strong,
with kind and safe ways to get along.
May your year be healthy and strong,
with kind and safe ways to get along.


  1. What a nice post to end the year with, Lillian! Touching, inspiring, kind! Blessings, love, and a much better, happy, healthy 2021 to you and yours!

  2. Happy New Year, Lillian, and thanks once again for an inspiring and creative message. And thanks too for letting us know the story about Jill –I missed that story until now. Way to go, Jill!
    Looking forward to working together in 2021.

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