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I’d like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas. We all have our own way of celebrating this holiday season. While our “reason for the season” might not be rooted in a common religion or heritage, our humanity and desire to be surrounded by friends and family remains constant. It’s in that spirit I hope you find a way to find joy tomorrow. For all our differences, it is our kindness, our imperfections, and in our hopes that we find peace.
While I don’t speak for every political blogger who writes here, it’s very easy to compile a naughty and nice list this time of year. Handing out lumps of coal tends to garner more attention, it’s easier, it gets laughs, and of course page views– but shining a light on our public figures who do make a positive difference ought to be our primary focus. The disparity in our opinions and view of the future isn’t bridged by pointing and laughing; it’s done through hard work, enabled by a willingness to embrace dissent, and nurtured by a shared stake in our future. None of this happens without dialogue.
While I think a “mosh pit” is a term that ought to have died with the nineties, we participate in a marketplace of ideas here at OrangeJuice. Often our exchanges are abrasive, but with that abrasion we polish our ideas. I value our abrasion and those who contribute in a meaningful way through their own expression and courage.
We’ve had plenty of contentious issues this year that moved beyond civility and I’ve participated in a number of them. I’m sure I’ve offended more than my fair share of readers; I know I’ve offended more than my fair share of friends and neighbors. While ultimately my reputation is mine to suffer and mine alone, I’d like to thank those of you who continue to engage with me in spite of my faults. It is through your small acts of kindness that I continue to become more rounded. As I polish my ideas and my ethos, I’d like to think that my family and my children benefit from your tolerance, which is about as good a Christmas gift that I could receive.
From my privileged position, it is very easy to ask that we each put our communities before ourselves. My wife and I were able to participate in a few different opportunities to share our good fortune with others. It was humbling and I’m a better person for it.
I’m not perfect and I’ve earned scorn and isolation more than once in my life. Despite that, I continue to be blessed with opportunities to give back to my neighbors and community. I hope to offend less and enrich others more next year. Here’s to wishing that you continue to offer me the opportunity to do so through my next set of failures.