The Promise of a Blank Screen


Message from Luminari President and Founder Hilda Pang Fu

I have a bit of writer’s block, causing me to start and then delete this first sentence over and over.  

Long before computers allowed us to erase our work and start over with a clean slate, there was the Etch-a-Sketch, that endlessly diverting toy that allowed us to start anew with just a shake. Each fresh, clean screen offered a new start; no mistake was ever permanent. 

I’m thinking of that image as I look forward to the new year. For most of us, 2020 will be not be remembered fondly. The coronavirus applied a layer of loneliness and worry atop an already rancorous public discourse. During the past twelve months, there were times I felt—we all felt—as though the world was spinning away from our control. 

But then I’d look around and see that, despite all the seeming entropy, we humans have the means and the willingness to control the chaos. Scientists guided us, frontline workers sustained us, parents and teachers kept the education going.

The rest of us? We wore masks. We looked out for our neighbors. We voted.  

With the arrival of COVID vaccines, a feeling of hope is emerging. January first always has marked a reset, an empty screen on which to write our plans and resolutions. This coming New Year’s Day will hold an extra share of promise, perhaps because 2020 was so challenging and taught us so many hard lessons. 

As we turn the calendar to 2021, Luminari will be starting its 12th year. We remain steadfast in our mission to broaden minds, inspire innovation and promote community engagement. Luminari always has stood for and worked toward harmony for all, and a world view built upon open-mindedness, compassion and kindness. 

Perhaps now, more than ever, that more harmonious future will live in the power of each one of us. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s taught us that the actions of one person will have a profound effect on others. When Dr. Fauci asked us to wear a mask, he was asking us to make everything better by doing a small thing. 

And there are other things we can do, such as talking less and listening more. We are peering down into a deep and dark political chasm. The only way to span that divide is to listen and be open to the very real possibility that there is common ground to be found and shared. But we must work to cultivate that ground. 

This holiday season will likely be less festive than we want, with fewer places to go and fewer of our loved ones around us.  

But we’ll soon have a fresh new screen on which to write our plans and dreams and stories. It is our responsibility, and it’s up to the will of each of us, to make a healthier, kinder and more harmonious world. 


About the Luminari Founder & President: entrepreneurial in nature, Hilda Pang Fu doesn’t know anything about laying bricks, yet excels at building both non-profit and for-profit ventures. Global thinker, Social Entrepreneur, Communicator, Librarian, Advocate for gender equity, Hilda speaks three languages and is a porcelain painter. Hilda started Luminari because she believes each of us is a citizen of the world, and we all can use a bit of mind-broadening.