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Post-confetti wishes for 2016

Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) withdrew

Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) withdrew the resolution to make sparklers legal in the county around Independence Day and New Year's on Monday, April 20, 2015. Photo Credit: iStock

The confetti has fallen.

It’s time to begin anew.

That’s not easy, especially after a troubled, tumultuous 2015. But we have to hope that a new year brings with it new opportunities and better times ahead. For each of us, that will mean something different, from personal changes, like new jobs or new babies, to broader shifts, like the new president we’ll elect this year. But there’s also the chance for something less tangible: a new perspective, where, perhaps, joy and hope might overcome sadness and fear.

Last year started and ended with terror. Just a week after last year’s ball dropped in Times Square, 12 people were killed in an attack on the Parisian satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. As the year closed, attacks in Paris and San Bernardino made us feel vulnerable once more.

In between, the dark clouds seemed to hover all year long. There were terrifying incidents of gun violence and the controversy over a staggering Syrian refugee crisis that arrived on our nation’s doorstep. There was an economy that still left many feeling uncertain, and a local political landscape where corruption continued to reign.

It’s enough to make us hug our families more tightly, reach out a hand to those in need, and search for rays of sunshine.

The glimmers of light are there. If you need inspiration, look to Manhasset High School seniors Kimberly Te and Christine Yoo, who last month won the Siemens science competition for work on microbial fuel cells that can help clean oil spills or power developing countries. Like many of their peers, Te and Yoo are focused on creating a better future and making a difference. Today, think about stories like theirs, share in the optimism a new year brings, and look to the possibility that we all can be difference-makers, in ways large and small.

Perhaps, then, we can help forge what we hope will be a brighter year ahead.

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