Jason Deal

For as long as I can remember, I try to write a column imagining some headlines I would like to read in the new year.

Last year, was one for the ages and I was glad to see it go. That was the only headline I really wanted to see: 2020 IS OVER!

While, 2021 was better in some ways, we still find ourselves dealing with a pandemic from hell that seems not to let up. I hope you will join me in praying that this scourge will speedily pass away.

I am thankful we have the vaccine. I am thankful for all those who are on the front lines battling the disease. I am thankful things are better. But, I also know there is still sickness and loss and I hope that 2022 will see that go away and happy days will be here once again.

The year 2021 wasn’t all bad. Like most years, it had its joyful and fun moments. I’ve experienced a few like that.

I try to look on the bright side. Happy days are coming again. It has to get better. It just has to. There comes a point when you can’t fall off the floor.

So, in hopes of those happy days returning, I will continue my custom of sharing with you a few headlines I’d like to see in this brand new year:

• Pandemic declared over, COVID-19 defeated: I hope and pray this one comes sooner rather than later.

• America becomes kinder, gentler: I sure hope we can truthfully say this at the end of the year. I try to encourage it in political and public debate and discussions, but it is rarely found. Don’t look now, but here we are on the verge of another political campaign. With Georgia emerging as a battleground state, we can look forward to being the target of more attack ads, mailing blitzes and the like. It makes me want to barf. I get that millions of people don’t like anyone on the other side of their personal ideology. But please, folks, we have got to do better. Yes, we can disagree vehemently and battle over policy and ideas, but can we  please stop beating and dehumanizing one another because we don’t agree? We can do this. America has always pulled together to work for the common good, to make tomorrow better than today and to be good and kind and decent. We can do it again. The Lord gives a very simple, but hard command: Love one another. It really is that simple. Love one another. Any questions?

• Falcons, Dawgs, Braves and Bears have championship years: The Braves did it this year! How sweet it was in early November when the Braves defeated the Astros 4-2 to take the World Series. I was happy to share that moment — and a high five — with my Daddy. The Bulldawgs may just be on the verge of something like that for the first time since I was in kindergarten. The Bears  (and my alma mater, the Appling County Pirates) came within a game of getting to the state championship contest this year. Here’s hoping the Falcons can someday, one day be in contention for the Super Bowl after the national anthem of the second game of the season. Typically, they are as forlorn and depressing as my love life. One of these days, though...

• 2022 is the best year ever.

It won’t take much for 2022 to be better than the one just passed. I have visions and dreams. I’d like to eventually settle down and have a family maybe. I keep wondering if this will be the year. Oh well, let’s not go off into that deep subject. Instead, let’s keep it nice and simple and vanilla. I hope 2022 is the best year ever.

Happy New Year!

• Jason Deal is the news editor for The Blackshear Times. Reach him at jdeal@blacksheartimes.news.