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BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN COMMUNITY SERVANTS — In this photo from The Beacon file, Dr. Primrose Cameron accepts an award for community service presented by Joe Hearn, himself a frequent volunteer for community causes.

Family and friends, if I were to have an Oprah moment, I would give all of you your heart’s desires in tangible gifts. But God’s blessings on my heart come in the form of hope and prayer.

I hope the year 2022 is like no other and, as we navigate this current world, that we learn to love despite all of its twists and turns.

I pray you will become closer to family and friends who live out loud, and that you care for those you know and may not know — just because you can!

Maybe it is not a year of resolutions that you are seeking, but more of a year of reflection that will make room for your strength and determination for the year to come.

As I reflect on 2021, let me share with you what I have come to learn or be reminded of:

• It is always a great day to have a great day. There may be moments or situations that tend to steal your joy, but don’t be susceptible to any that do not allow you to be great.

• You cannot control what is not meant to be controlled. Let’s start with other people. People are meant to make their own decisions, despite your advice. Yes, you may be older and known to be wiser, but you cannot control everything and definitely cannot control everyone (even if you are related).

Relax and take time to talk and share, but no need to be upset if the other person does not take your advice. It is OK to agree to disagree.

• Saving the world involves more than to be a superhero. Let’s be honest, we really aren’t meant to be superheroes.

I envision superheroes not needing sleep, wearing capes and being able to jump immeasurable heights — all of which wouldn’t work for me. But, I can be a really kind person who sparks positive relationships to accomplish a common goal with other really kind people, enhancing the world one step at a time (and after a full night’s rest).

• Philanthropic work is hard work and seems to require a lot of money — something I may not have (now), but that shouldn’t dictate whether I can help other people and provide service to my community.

True help may not require money, but it doesn’t hurt to have projects funded and sponsored.

I have learned there are beautiful people who want to help any way they can. Some will give you their time, love or funding. They are all important to the mission and to your life.

• Last but not least, after three academic degrees and time spent in the counseling field, I didn’t realize, before this pandemic, how important self-care would become. There is so much psychological heaviness that will take a toll on you, and you must conquer it by allowing yourself to heal and be open to focusing on you.

This does not mean the rest of the world is unimportant; it just means that, if you do not take care of yourself, the rest of the world will never have the whole you engaged in community growth.

Bonus: The old adage is true. Children are our future. If you take time with them now, our world will reap the benefits later. They need us to use this year of reflection to be stronger and more mentally available for their success.

In hindsight, I need it for my own success, as well. We can all learn from 2021 … reflect, recharge, renew for 2022.

— Cameron, a longtime educator, lives in Orange City. Send email to cameronchronicleslive@gmail.com.

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