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As we approach the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. Many of us, this blog writer included consider the changes we'd like to make going forward in 2018.

I think about my waistline and yes as usual the idea of weight loss. Of getting into better shape!

But this blog post won't be about that lol

I want to touch on something that I truly believe in.......FRIENDSHIPS

This past year and the years that preceded it have been an opportunity for me to meet and make what I pray will be ever lasting friendships. I am so thankful for the travel opportunities that I get as a result of my job. Thankful for the new places I discover, the old ones it get to revisit but most importantly meeting new friends and revisiting other friends.

Since 1980 when I became a Christian there is one thing that the Lord has fueled in my heart.....the love of others.

Fact is I'm not embarrassed to say that I truly love people!

I truly care about people!

Anyone who knows me long enough will find that I tend to toss out the LOVE word and it doesn't matter whether your male or female.

I believe in LOVE.....I believe in PEOPLE......

The fact is someone very dear to me many years ago loved me enough to die for me. I owe a debt not only to him. We are all partners in life. We learn from each other. We care for each other. And yes we at times shed tears for each other.

Which now leads me to the subject at hand. NEUTRALITY

This past year has been one of the toughest ones on so many levels and it's been felt by so many of us. Though friendships have been made, so also have they been lost.

Many years ago I realized the need to keep my personal life, my political views and yes even my religious views separate from my Facebook life. How did I accomplish that? Why do I do that?

First and foremost I decided that I wanted a professional domain that only reflected my wildlife and scenic photography. I felt that my personal views needed, for the sake of friendships, to be separate from my professional work.

It was honestly a simple decision for me. I may not have been completely perfect at it. My goal for 2018 is to be!

I'd ask you going forward into 2018 to consider friendships and their importance. Is it important as wildlife/scenic photographers to express our political or religious views at the cost of friendships?

Trust me when I say that I'm not writing this to anyone in mind except myself. If I've offended anyone at all I pray that that person would tell me so. Because I then need to hear it and to apologize.

Let's all together find ways to be here for each other. To encourage each other and most importantly to love each other!

Consider neutrality!

The love of what we do is what brought us all together. It's why we have the friendships that we have. Differences are best kept off of the table. If you invite a friend over for dinner and that friend hates onions, will you then serve that friend onion soup?

I want to be a true friend to everyone I meet. I want to be known as the kind photographer. I want to be respected because of my love for others. This is what will drive my 2018! What will drive you in 2018?

with lowliness and meekness, with long suffering.....forbearing one another in love :)

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