Department: Editor's Memo
As 2019 comes to a close, thoughts about 2020 are suddenly prominent in our minds. As per tradition, many people will make resolutions for the New Year, firmly declaring to do or not to do something that is important in their lives. You review the past 12 months and wonder what the coming 12 months have in store. How fitting and encouraging that on January 16, 1988, Michael Jackson's recording of Man in the Mirror was released; it became a number-one hit. I remember the collective roar around the globe, particularly embellished by my teenage daughter.
The lyrics speak about looking at yourself in the mirror and deciding that you are going to change your ways, make a difference, make it right, and make the world a better place. The deeper message was not to merely look at your physical reflection in the mirror but to also look inside yourself to discover who you are, decide what you liked and did not like, and start there with a change. A video of this song is available on YouTube.1 The video uses snippets of Jackson performing Man in the Mirror on different occasions, interlaced with photos and videos of universal conditions of human suffering, intense reactions from fans in concert audiences, and world leaders who believed in and fought and died for change, with the now famous track playing in the background. Because of the genre of music, it was years later that I finally heard beyond the beat of the music and listened to the words of the song and understood their meaning. Profound and genius!
A synonym for profound is reflective, and many events and people have the ability to trigger you to reflect. The month of December is a time to reflect upon events that happened during 2019 as well as relationships with other people; some might have stirred intense emotions and prompted you to question “Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?” Unfortunately, answers are not always straightforward or evident. Situations may have been inside or outside of your control. Personal successes and challenges during 2019 may prompt an inherent drive toward stability, meaning something has to change. That change can be small and personal or larger with a more global reach.
Looking for change
With a major national election cycle approaching in November 2020, opportunities to become involved are at every level—local, state, and national. There is no contribution of time or resources that is too small. NPs still have legislative hurdles to overcome in many states for full-practice authority. Nursing school applicants are still being turned away because there are not enough faculty members to teach them or clinical sites and preceptors to train them.
The uninsured, underinsured, vulnerable populations are counting on your knowledge, clinical expertise, and advocacy to help them achieve improved health outcomes. Poverty, hunger, disease, and/or war are compromising the health of innocent people in all countries, including the US. Personal greed and corruption are weakening governments worldwide. The reasons to care, causes to resist, and barriers to overcome are plentiful. We all are the “man in the mirror,” and the task is to look inside yourself and discover how you can help make the world a better place through the use of self. Let 2020 be a year of change for you.
Happy New Year to all my nursing colleagues!
Jamesetta A. Newland, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP, FAAN