A.J. Burns

The past year has created many changes in our lifestyle. From work at home routines and curbside grocery pick-up to Zoom church and family events, we seem more isolated than in the past.

In fact, many are merely surviving due to lack of social activity. In many cases children have been forced to remain at home in a virtual school setting. You would have thought that television viewership would have increased; however, according to the numbers, the College Football National Championship and the Super Bowl had fewer viewers than in many past years. I can’t help but wonder if that is related to a lack of interest, or an act of defiance due to the politicization of sporting events.

I do know that there will be many changes that will be occurring in the next few years. One thing most of us will deal with is the increase in gas prices. The cancellation of the oil pipeline projects and Federal land oil and gas leases is sure to impact domestic supply and demand. On top of that, the State of Louisiana is seeking to increase gasoline taxes for road repair and offset other anticipated decreases in tax revenues due to the loss of jobs.

As more of us are inoculated and have resistant antibodies for the virus, it is still not time to let our guard down. Limiting exposure and other safety precautions do work, but there are places and ways to get out of isolation.

Buckle up, get your head out of your cell phone, and live life.

Change up your routine and get a book off the shelf and explore Treasure Island, rather than the news (Boy, talk about depressing!) Take a walk or bicycle ride in the neighborhood and check on your home-alone neighbors, especially during this cold weather event. Think of a better way to do life.

I am always amazed at the innovation of people as they seek to overcome adversity in their path.

I remember several years ago when Oscar Pistorius, from South Africa, ran in the 2012 Olympics, with his two Flex-Foot Cheetah prosthetic feet. Everyone thought he was a hero for being the first amputee sprinter to participate in the Olympics. As I read the story, I was intrigued about how they came up with those “Blade Runner” artificial legs.

It turns out that the inventor of the “Blade Runner” style prosthetic was a Biomedical Engineer named Van Phillips. He was, however, not just an ordinary Bio-Engineer; he was a man who had lost a leg in a boating accident at age 21 and wore an artificial leg and foot prosthesis. He soon realized that the design of the traditional prosthesis was neither natural nor comfortable, so he began using his bio- medical engineering knowledge to design a prosthesis that was comfortable and allowed the wearer (himself) to run and jump. He worked on the model until it was perfected. He used himself as the test subject while he developed his prototype, which just goes to show that necessity is the mother of invention.

He made the best of a bad situation, which brings me back to the current pandemic, and looking forward to seeing the positive things that will come out of this tragic time.

Things may change and life may put hurdles in our path, but remember that you are not in this alone. There are others that can help and for us who have faith there is a “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7)

A.J. Burns is a real estate appraiser based in  West Monroe.

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