As most of you know, I live in Northeast Ohio. Contrary to common complaints about cruddy winter weather, I love this season. Just as the autumn leaves display their brilliance, a snowed landscape has a host of beautiful offerings: frosted yards, 2-foot-thick comforters of heavy snow draped around each home, carefully balanced drifts outlining every single branch and spindle of the trees.
But more than that, with each passing year I appreciate what the season represents. A time of slowing. A time of refuge. Loved ones gathered by the hearth, the warm meal at table, a chance to look back on the year before and the year ahead.
Yet, if you’re like me, you might be feeling unusually unsettled. A discomfort indelibly tied to the wound of disunity. What should be a time of healing, recalibrating, and dreaming is fraught with the baggage of the past year.
We are more divided than ever.
Even the closest relationships of friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors surely encountered at least one topic in 2020 that exposed significant disagreement. COVID, masks, lockdowns, Black Lives Matter, Trump, Biden, voting, mainstream media. I’m old enough to remember when the biggest national outrage was Taylor Hicks beating Chris Daughtry in American Idol. Good times. But this year really has been one thing after another, each presenting a unique power to sabotage shalom.
All of it is just so much bigger than me. What can I possibly do about it?
You’ve been thinking it too, haven’t you.
If you are newer to Open to Truth, you’ll soon discover that we talk frequently about the intellectual virtues. Curiosity. Openness. Humility. Poise. Thoroughness. Honesty. Courage. Each in their own way and collectively display a love for the truth.
This is the path forward.
Sure - there’s much to discuss concerning the proper philosophies, policies, and people to address the above 2020 topics. No doubt you have some considered opinions about what should or could be done for each - I do too. And we probably disagree. Ha!
But, what I hope and truly believe we can agree on is cultivating a love for the truth.
Then, and only then, will we ever make progress on the issues of our day.
So, stick around. Join Tony and I in this journey - this ongoing conversation. Let’s help each other become the kind of people who face adversity and disagreement with virtue and wisdom. Further, we are hard-wired for community and the life of virtue is not to be attempted in isolation. Reach out. Share your story. We’d love to hear about what you’re doing to pursue these virtues in your life - or when you mess up and what you’re doing to rectify it.
We’ve got big plans for 2021 and we can’t wait to share it with you.
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