The wonderful thing about New Year’s Day is it is the day every year that marks a new beginning. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to accomplish things we hope to achieve in the coming year. Others use this moment to reflect on the year past and make predictions for the year ahead. And then there are some of us, that just treat this day like any other. No matter what camp you find yourself in, January 1st provides an opportunity to contemplate for a moment the year ahead.
For me, I am hopeful 2024 is better for the world than 2023. Without delving too far into politics, it would be nice to have a more civil election year (which is a big ask, I know); quicker, positive resolutions to the challenges in the middle east and Ukraine; and better demonstrated leadership by politicians in charge of the fate of the world.
This platform has tried to give attention to things that inspire amid the drumbeat of challenging daily news, and there is a lot of content to share.
Reasons for Optimism
If we look deeper into what is happening in society, there are reasons for optimism. Life expectancy is growing, people throughout the world are being brought out of poverty in greater numbers, technology has made our lives more convenient, and we have access to information that should make us better informed. That is the upside. I do worry about the relative ease misinformation is created, shared and believed, and, also, the declining trust we are experiencing across all aspects of life. These are two areas I hope to personally focus on in 2024.
The silver lining in all of this is the importance of communities and family, and one person I spent New Year’s with mentioned her greatest inspiration was the way family and friends come together to support each other. I have written a lot about communities and family and happiness, and I am a believer.
To that point, I am going to share a few images from the past months and year that have brought me great joy or have given me reason for hope. I hope some of these have meaning for you, like they did for me, and I wish you the very best for 2024. As always, thank you for being part of this community.
Images of Happiness and Hope
First up, I think we have to celebrate the accomplishment of Lebron over the years. Samuel, Adonis (from Taiwan) and I had the chance to experience Lebron’s record-breaking basket live. I have enjoyed watching him over the years, and I also am most impressed with his son, Bronny, who plays at USC.
This picture brings calm to the side of me that worries a lot. The US and China are both superpowers that have more to gain from working with each other, than as competitors. I have always felt both countries don’t have to agree on everything, but remaining at the table in dialogue is important. This picture from the recent APEC meeting held in San Francisco re-started the US and China on a course of better communication. Phew.
Last month we attended a fantastic U2 concert in Las Vegas at the Sphere. This changed concerts for me for the future. Complete sensory overload. I am looking forward to seeing what is next at the Sphere. It is entirely worth the experience.
Jackie just returned from Beijing where she brought her dog, Teddy, who was in China since the pandemic. It is good to have Teddy back with us and I love watching how happy Jackie is.
In the spirit of friends and communities, it was nice to have Jeff Dresser and his family in Los Angeles for his 50th birthday and the Rose Bowl. We had a great Flint, Michigan gathering with my wife Lisa, sister Dana, and a bunch of people, all who played or were influenced by the late Paul Dresser, my former coach, mentor, elementary school teacher and much more.
And this picture from New Years Eve with the Krassensteins and Jackie’s friend Zoe, and lots of dogs.
A final picture for the year. This was shot by Lisa on a drive back from Palm Dessert where we visited with our long-time friend, Jim Gradoville, and his family. If you look close enough, this is a picture of a double rainbow. Double rainbows are often seen as symbols of good luck, hope, and prosperity.
Wishing everyone a year of luck, hope and prosperity.
Note: The feature image is a photo shot by a very talented photographer and my former colleague, Kidd Huang, who shared this. “Scott, this was shot at at Lake Bled, Slovenia. A peaceful and tranquil morning at the lake. I found it amazing to feel the peace at the end of the year.”