Commentary: Looking forward to a year filled with new opportunities and possibilities

Commentary: Looking forward to a year filled with new opportunities and possibilities
January 05
18:49 2023

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Our New Year 2023 has begun, which means leaving the old behind and embracing the new.

According to reports, the first celebration of the new year happened over 4,000 years ago in the time of ancient Babylon.

Of course, we are thankful for what transpired in 2022.

Was it all good and perfect? No, it wasn’t, as we had our downfalls and pitfalls.

Being a long-standing member of the 4th quarter, I paid attention to all health-related matters. Throughout last year, COVID-19 was with us and we were urged by healthcare professionals to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, in the eyes of many people, COVID-19 became a political issue. This led to many folks not getting the vaccine that they needed and as a result, many of them passed away.

Some family members later admitted they received bad advice from the wrong people.

Speaking of the wrong people, we had a mudslide of political leaders who made bad decisions last year. During 2022, the January 6th Committee hearings continued as testimonies implicated many of those involved in this event. Some of the culprits are now in jail and others are awaiting their fates. All of this happened because one man believed that he was a modern-day dictator. 

We know who that man is; however, I will not begin 2023 putting his name in print. I will say that the doors of justice are closing in on him and it is just a matter of time before they are closed and locked.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) garnered much attention last year as everyone wanted to be a part of the landscape. Academically and athletically, these schools were on everyone’s radar screen.

Kamala Harris, a graduate of Howard University and Vice President of the United States, along with Deion Sanders, football coach at Jackson State University, were in the news on a regular basis.

During the past week, Ed Reed, who is in the NFL Hall of Fame, was named head football coach at Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach Florida.

Last year also gave us the dark side of America as too many citizens lost their lives to gun violence. The penchant for using guns to resolve disagreements and to torment folks, I will never understand. Our country is not viewed favorably when it comes to this part of our culture. Let’s hope and pray we do better in 2023.

Back in the day, places of worship would hold watch night services where families would bring in the new year. Now we don’t because people don’t want to be in the public square at night. That’s sad, but it is the reality we live these days.

So now 2023 is here. How can we make it better than last year?

I am a firm believer that we should always be trying to get better. It doesn’t matter what you do or how old you are. Being sedentary and complacent are not options that we should consider.

Being thoughtful and prayerful about others will also benefit us. Doing good deeds and thinking good thoughts give us a better disposition. Being our brother’s and sister’s keeper is an action step, so we must do it.

For example, if there are a few extra dollars that we have, let’s buy someone else’s groceries. That will surprise them and will be an intentional act of kindness for us.

Our ability to make others feel good could be a way of stopping some of the violence that is taking place too frequently in our country.

Our time here is measured so we must make the most of it. We hear the expression, “tomorrow is not promised.” Well, it’s not.

Let’s make each day a good day as best as we can. There are new blessings and new mercies that we receive each day.

Let’s use them.

James B. Ewers Jr., Ed.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator. He can be reached at

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