Optimism propels us

Congratulations from the family at Minot Daily News to Laurin Leidholt and Taylor Barstad of Minot. A quiet New Year’s Eve in Trinity Hospital’s Labor & Delivery Unit in Minot came to an end when Leidholt and Barstad of Minot became parents of the first baby born in 2018.

Brynn Berdell Barstad, the couple’s daughter and first child, was born at 4:59 a.m., weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces. Ob/Gyn Dr. Jessie Fauntleroy performed the delivery.

Well, bless this beautiful family. A birth on New Year’s Day is always so special, such a sign of continuity, such a bright sign for the future yet to unfold. A birth is an incomparable symbol of and instigator for optimism.

As a people and as a community, we need all the optimism we can get – particularly at the start of this new year.

Struggle and strife, controversy and conflict, violence and vitriol. Sadly, these things too often characterize this era we share. Our differences are so exploited, our commonalities so trivialized, that it can be hard to find optimism in the big picture. And while we have much to prompt optimism locally, the very same ugliness too often seeps into the local and regional culture.

Does the selfishness and cynicism that define contemporary public life seem such a surprise under the circumstances?

And then, our town, like so many, waited to learn about and celebrate the first birth of a new year. A simple thing. A tradition. And also a powerful, group statement of optimism, of love and goodwill for our newest, youngest and most innocent member of our community. Brynn Berdell Barstad enters the world with all the well-wishes and affection of our community. What a wonderful way for a child to enter our world.

What a wonderful way to rekindle our optimism.

May Minot’s first-born of 2018 enjoy all the blessings of life, of our nation and community. And may we live up to the responsibility of making the world a better place for this child and every other one born in the months ahead.

Surely, we can set aside differences to share this sentiment.