Our Gift 

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2022 is worn out.
Everything wears out. Its predictable and guaranteed. 

Bridges, highways, stoves, lawnmowers, computers, shovels, floors, and cars all eventually need to be repaired or replaced. They just wear out – usually after the warranty has expired. 

You and I didn’t expect an entire year to wear out. 2022 is near its end, and the aging shows. Time for a reset. 

It’s a good time to have our collection of holidays and celebrations. By now your Thanksgiving gatherings have dispersed and you’re thinking about diets in the New Year resolutions, knowing that there’s still Christmas and the New Year gatherings with ample food and enjoyment in the plans. Five weeks at the end of every year to share happiness, good wishes, and special food in abundance is a proper way to prepare for 2023. 

Our welcoming of the new year is certain, but many will be less enthusiastically optimistic than last year. Time and experience are teachers with a voice. Optimism requires more time and a more hopeful voice to overshadow the disappointments of years like 2022. Discovering there were some very good things about the year we leave behind will one day be clear in our memories. 

The passing of Queen Elizabeth was sad, a monarch who served for four generations with unwavering dignity and royal values admired around the world. On the other hand, the presence and public adoration of Prince William and Princes Kate is refreshing, and more than hopeful. Our world is hungry for the type of examples they are proving to be. 

To be sure, I’m rather excited about the coming year. Covid has been an emotional burden as well as a health concern of the pandemic kind. The Russian/Ukrainian War an international concern and a terrible experience shows us how such an atrocity can impact the world in important ways, especially those directly impacted in the war zone itself. 

The embarrassment of divisiveness in a country such as ours that should know how to settle differences proves how similar America is to many other countries around the world. Getting a mature handle on our differences is more difficult that most of us realize – it is possible, I firmly believe – but much more difficult than protests and violence want them to be. 

Let’s be kind to our neighbors for a few short weeks, resolving to remain that way for the year ahead. 

Consider ways to be an asset to everyone. Help is needed in many ways; housing, food and healthcare, education, employment, agriculture, water, energy sourcing and distribution, manufacturing, childcare, transportation, communications, and many, many others. 

We are not short of people to do the work. We are not short of knowledge and experience of how to do the work. We are not short of people capable of leading every challenging effort. We are too reluctant to start doing. Ideas and concepts are in abundance. It’s the action of doing that requires leadership. All of us, each of us, possess enough to be a part of all our work to make 2023 a better experience. Your gift of time may be the most important gift of all. 

Enjoy your holidays and Happy New Year.

“To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Steve Prefontaine 

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