July 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

A Very Bold Prediction: 2017 Will Be An Interesting Year

jeffhall

Everyone’s abuzz about the election outcome and what it means for the next four years.

I am not panicking. At least not yet. I think there’s even the possibility of pleasant surprises. The way I see it, Donald Trump wants to be adored more than anything else. Is there room on Mount Rushmore?

But he won’t go down in history alongside Lincoln, FDR, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Reagan if he messes things up. He knows that. So I think he’ll surprise us now and then with the unexpected. And maybe some of these surprises will be pleasant ones.

I find it funny that so many are predicting the end of the world when very few, going back to the day Donald Trump first announced his candidacy, have been able to predict what this guy is going to do next. So how can they be so sure about what will happen in the next four years?

Conventional wisdom is now officially dead. I’m not sure I’ll miss conventional wisdom all that much. Most of the pundits have been saying the same boring stuff for years now. They are often wrong (but rarely admit it).

It’s time to shake things up a bit.

But why am I dwelling on national politics in a local paper? One thing we’re all hearing more and more these days is, “Maybe the world has gone crazy and there’s nothing we can do about that – at least for now – but at a minimum we can work together on a local level to make our communities better places.”

This is an old-fashioned idea whose time has come (again). We live in this place called Brentwood, and we’re lucky for that. What can each of us do, right here in Brentwood that will move our community up a few notches in 2017?

Let me think out loud. Maybe some of these ideas will grab you. Maybe this exercise will cause you to think of a few ideas of your own. All good.

How often do we say to people, ‘Let’s get together for dinner? Or lunch?’ But then a year goes by and we don’t do it. Then we feel guilty. Then we do it all over again – make promises – and we still don’t follow through.

Actions speak louder than words. Make a list of five people you can commit to socializing with in the coming year. Commit to reaching out to at least one of these individuals and pin down a date before the end of this month.

Are you part of any kind of volunteer group? There are tons of great groups in Brentwood. Join one. My wife and I just joined Friends of the Library. We haven’t done anything with them yet, but at least we joined, so we’re moving in the right direction.

At a minimum, attend your neighborhood or residential or homeowner’s association annual meeting. There’s a lot going on you might otherwise never know about. It’s interesting. Thank the people who do the work that benefits you, right in your back yard.

Shop locally more often. There are plenty of great stores and restaurants in Brentwood. Get to know the people who run them. They are terrific people, and they need our business.

What many in Brentwood might not realize is that rents in commercial establishments are very high. Many of these fine folks struggle to make ends meet. They’re doing their best to cover the rent. High rent is perhaps the primary reason so many stores turn over in the course of a year.

Let’s partake of all the terrific goods and services they provide, and strengthen the hyper-local economy in the process. Let’s go out of our way to tell the people who run the checkout lines, who serve the food, who sew the clothes, and who do the dry cleaning, how much we appreciate them.

This also applies to the gardener, the eye doctor, the maid. Everyone, really. Their presence makes our lives better. Let’s appreciate them.

The same goes for our public officials: our senior lead officer, our city councilman, the homeowner association volunteer, and all the rest. They put in countless hours on our behalf. Let them know we see that.

Connected to a school? Check in more often. We should all connect more with our kids and parents, whatever their ages, wherever they are. Let’s add siblings and cousins to our lists.

Let’s get outdoors more. Walk the neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors if you don’t know them already.

Let’s open our eyes and be a little more aware. Let’s appreciate what we have, for what we have is pretty amazing.

Here’s to many pleasant surprises in the year ahead!

 

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