Maryland 2000's Merry Millennium in the Making

We've heard enough millennium blues. We're weary of people who, for unfounded reasons, fret that bad stuff will overwhelm them when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31.

The oddity of being around for a new millennium inspires wonder in all of us. It's easy to see how some people are so awed that they let themselves fall victim to worries about electricity failures, bank collapses and nuclear plants going haywire.

Truth be told, our main millennium fear is over-the-edge behavior. We see too many hucksters out their preying on people's skittishness. We hear too much about hoarders of food who, by emptying store shelves, could deprive those unable to stock up. We read about people buying guns to protect their sliver of the world from upheavals they've conjured. We even know of cults that have lured good people from productive lives.

What needs to happen now is a shift away from fear. The time has arrived to look ahead not with angst but with joy about being on the earth at such a calendar passage. Just as this is a special moment in history, it can be a special moment in our lives, a time of personal renewal, public commitment - or both.

While we're troubled about the negatives in society, we're happy to take note of positive planning underway right here in Chesapeake country.

The Maryland Commission for Celebration 2000 is overseeing a bounty of well-conceived programs that can help to ferry us smartly into the new millennium. Maryland 2000 is presenting 80 sessions with 20 speakers advising us on issues and opportunities in the coming year. They're free to community organizations, and lists of experts' topics are upcoming.

In the new "MaryLandscapes" program, Maryland 2000 soon will identify those who will be sharing $100,000 to plant 29 community gardens across the state and maintain them for a decade. There's a massive drive to collect food for those who need it and many more programs that can help us - or help us to help others.

"People can do something they've not done before. They can extend their reach," observed Louise Hayman, Maryland 2000 executive director.

Maryland 2000 wants to hear millennium ideas from your community or your organization. So rather than spreading the dread, look smartly ahead.

For information on programs and opportunities, phone Maryland 2000's Alicia Moran at 410/260-6350 or look at the commission's Web site at www.maryland2000.org.

| Issue 32 |

Volume VII Number 32
August 12-18, 1999
New Bay Times

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