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The air feels a little different today. It’s impossible to ignore. As you walk around the streets of Evanston, there are families in their front yards laughing and dancing, cars honking and cheering, and a city full of hopeful smiles. For the first time in what seems like forever, there is a feeling of optimism and unity. People are waving and saying hello to people they’ve never met, as if they’ve known them forever. I don’t think I’ve ever received as many thumbs up and smiles from strangers as I have today. Today feels like a new beginning. The world feels a little lighter, even if it’s just for a moment.

As we make way into the holiday season, make sure to realize what there is to be grateful for. This year has been difficult to say the least, but if anything it has shown us what really matters and the potential that this world holds. Especially after a day like today, it shows how much more enjoyable the world is when people are kind and loving to one another. When we reach out to someone we may not usually, and give a simple hello, it truly makes a difference. That one hello creates a ripple effect. I noticed that after strangers were waving and saying hello to me, I started to do it to others. It felt like a community, like I was a part of something great and welcoming. Sometimes it takes hardship to realize all that we have and could have. Going forward, let's make an effort to continue to make Evanston, or wherever you may be from, a welcoming place for all.

I can’t seem to help but feel the sense of a hopeful tomorrow. See you then.

Kaley Winegarner

Alumnus, Northwestern University

Barista at Coffee Lab Evanston

Blogger & Marketing Specialist at Ignitus Digital Evanston


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