Counsel for 2022

Several observations on entering the New Year; but  first a poetic note of hope.


The New Year 

by Carrie Williams Clifford (1920)

The New Year comes—fling wide, fling wide the door
Of Opportunity! the spirit free
To scale the utmost heights of hopes to be,
To rest on peaks ne’er reached by man before!
The boundless infinite let us explore,
To search out undiscovered mystery,
Undreamed of in our poor philosophy!
The bounty of the gods upon us pour!
Nay, in the New Year we shall be as gods:
No longer apish puppets or dull clods
Of clay; but poised, empowered to command,
Upon the Etna of New Worlds we’ll stand—
This scant earth-raiment to the winds will cast—
Full richly robed as supermen at last!

The Right Attitude  (by John Horvat)

As we enter 2022, we must face a “not-normal” world that shows no signs of returning to order. Having the right “improvise-and-dare” attitude will enable us to survive. It will allow us to exploit any good opportunities to act that come our way. It will mitigate the disasters that strike us.

The Dalai Lama

When asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

From a review of the Movie: Don’t Look Up (Netflix)

This December release starred Leonard DiCaprio and Meryl Streep.  The story featured two Michigan State academic astronomers who identified a comet heading directly to earth–and the President and public’s response to this “environmental” crisis.  One reviewer’s reaction:

I am alive. I exist. I don’t need to be told that humans will choose what feels good over what is right every time.

Honestly, I spent the movie rooting for the comet.

Shakespeare on Future Forecasts

Prophecy remains elusive, for who yet can answer Banquo’s “If you look into the seeds of time/And say which grain will grow and which will not/Speak then to me.” (Macbeth, 1.3, 58-60).

The Gift of  Enduring Ideas

As we begin 2022, I am in awe of the remarkable  year just past, and how members and communities across the country benefitted from cooperative efforts.

Credit unions from the earliest days of the pandemic stood tall with their presence, their passion and  dedication to service. When the temporary normal returned, they opened up offices with enthusiasm, and understanding—and an unwavering belief in the transformative power of cooperative purpose.

Credit unions ended the year historically strong. They are ready for a new time of  vital caring using  their  unique capacity to combine educational and transactional financial services.

I am eager to share  what I hope will be “enduring ideas” with you in coming months. One writer described this need as follows:

Amid the present insecurity, endearing objects (read high net worth ratios) are not enough. Our desire for certainties must also be addressed by turning to the things that feed the soul. We must turn to enduring ideas to anchor us in the storms ahead.



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