What do you hope for in 2023?

This new year is dawning and I can’t help but feel hopeful for this coming year. It seemed like life during the last year somewhat returned to normal after the effect of covid and I was able to settle into a new community and start building connections here. With some building blocks in place, growing in my writing and learning new skills seem possible and probable.

I am currently reading “Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times” by Jane Goodall and Doug Abraham and it seems a very appropriate read for the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023.  Jane Goodall, a global icon in the world of conservation, at 88 years of age is still hopeful that we, the human species, can turn the world into a better place despite the tough problems that seem to surround us. The list of problems is long: climate change, loss of habit for wild animals, racism, lack of biodiversity, poverty, and housing issues for many people…..but she still believes that we have the power to heal this world and ourselves.

She has worked tirelessly to educate and encourage people to make positive changes in the world for most of her life. In the more than 50 books that she has written, hope is an underlying tenet. As long as we are hopeful and work hard toward our goals, change can and will happen. Change often starts with small acts of kindness and compassion to improve individual worlds, which in turn make our communities better which trickles out into the world.

So as I move into 2023, here are a few of my hopes.  I hope to have my third picture book published. This book talks about the problems in Ukraine. The illustrator of this picture book as well as my other picture books is Ukrainian and has suffered through this war having to leave her country to be safe. I say prayers often that her family is safe. My hope for this book is to raise money for evacuees and their families who need help through this crisis. I hope to narrow the gap between us and them. We are all living on this planet. How can we feel like those in other countries are any different from us? I can’t help but feel that all people want to feel safe. They want healthy food to nourish their bodies and clean water to drink. They want the best for their families and friends. They hope for a world that accepts all cultures, religions, and beliefs with an open heart.

I hope that the book project that I am becoming a part of with Brave Heart Publishing will inspire children and encourage them to take action for positive change. This book will be a compilation of short stories for children to read or be read to that will tackle situations that require courage and determination to solve. Hopefully, this book will encourage children to solve their own tough problems with courage and compassion.  Just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. “Be the change you want to see in the world, “ said Mahama Gandhi.

 I walk forward with the hope that this year will bring renewed hope in all people to help build a better world and I hope that we will all be the change we wish to see in the world.

Here is a list of books for kids and adults that might inspire action!

PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT HAVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE curated by What Do We Do All Day?

Full list here: https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/childrens-books-positive-attitude

The Story of Jane Goodall by Susan Katz

 Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

 Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker

 Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan Mercè López

The Floating Field by Scott Riley Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien Mel Fell

The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi 

One Word from Sophie by Jim Averbeck 

Rain!  By Linda Ashman

Tomorrow Most Likely  by Dave Eggers 

The Big Orange Splot  by Daniel Pinkwater

Terrific by Jon Agee

For parents, here is your book list of inspiring reads:

Seeds of Hope by Jane Good All

Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

No On is too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thornburg

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Disclaimer: I personally have not read all of these books but many are on my list or have come highly recommended.

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