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Yes, the obligatory 2010 roundup will be posted this week. Winners, losers, surprises, expectations met and exceeded… Yes, there will be the wrap-up where I praise a few and decry others for their misbehavior or politically malevolent acts.

Before I put 2010 in the books, I want to share this following sentiment. 2011 will be different. Better. More interesting. There will be unfathomable challenges for our leaders, and we will expect President Obama and Speaker Boehner to resolve their differences, stop sniping, and do the jobs they were elected to do. We won’t care if they are prolix-rife or in 140 characters or less, we’ll just want results.

The world we live in will change, beyond what you might expect. The referendum for South Sudan’s independence is only a couple of weeks away. The crisis in the Ivory Coast will deepen. Israel, Iran, the Palestinians and their neighbors will discuss the terms for peace – again. And the world will be disappointed but heartened. Again. The cholera outbreak in Haiti will eventually be contained, though we do not know how many will die and suffer. Our border with Mexico will be plagued by violence, all the while activists will raise and spend thousands in a nonsensical play to control the uncontrollable – until our Leaders LEAD.

America’s children will be influenced by the people in their lives, by pop culture’s evangelical narcissism and hypersexual excesses. Not enough parents will have a real discussion about sex, intimacy and its appropriate place in our lives. They’ll blame promiscuity on pop culture, dismissing their culpability. The tragedy, of course, is that if we valued one another- as men and women – we could have a richer subtext to share with our children. A healthy, passionate, abundant and gratifying intimate relationship with the man or woman we love… is beautiful. To be embraced. To be heralded as a hallmark of a healthy commitment, or marriage. Share that with your children – and waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right doesn’t seem such a bad idea after all. Fear of love is not healthy, filling the void with self-loathing or doubt should not be the byproduct of silence on the subject. Embrace honesty, talking with our children about finding love, dedicating ourself to it — this should be a pleasure. To give our children all the tools for emotional, personal, intellectual and professional success begins in our homes.  Spend as much time on love as you do math, sports and entertainment. Watch them bloom with promise. Love should be like sunlight, encouraging growth while being a gentle antiseptic for the prickly bits we need to examine more carefully.

With that, I shall share a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne. Known best as the beloved author of the first great American novel, The Scarlet Letter, his examinations of the human heart throughout all of his writings define insight to the human soul. Below is my favorite sentiment and one that defines my approach to 2011.

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

Indeed, Sir. Indeed.

—Media Lizzy

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