Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas Letter 2019

Amid today’s chaos and cruelty, it would be easy to lose heart. Fire and floods engulf the planet, and there may be worse to come. Hatred stalks the land and much of the world. Dishonor, cronyism, bigotry, and conspiracist paranoia seem now to be governing principles in our democracy. It is a dark time for our country and for all of humankind.

Yet it is also a time when we celebrate hope, light, and love, when we remember the past and look to the future, and when we draw strength from our families, our friends, our community, and our traditions. In a year like 2019, the end of year holidays are more important than ever.

We celebrate hope most of all. Without hope, we cannot create the future that we need to create if we are to save the planet that is our only home. Without hope, we lose courage and learn fear. Without hope, we are frozen in place, unable to move forward when that is what we must do.

We celebrate light because with it, we can find our way. Without it, we will be lost in literal darkness and in the darkness of ignorance.

We celebrate love because without love, without cooperation and compassion, our species cannot long survive. Alone, we are frightened, hopeless, and weak. In community with others, we can be courageous, hopeful, and strong.

We remember the past, not because can return to it or because we are destined to repeat it, but because by understanding it we can better understand ourselves. We can build on the good we have done and begin to right past wrongs.

Let us celebrate hope, light, and love, and together build a future for our planet and for all of us.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Christmas Letter 2018

It has been a very strange and disquieting year. In the United States and around the world, we have suffered from wars, terrible storms, government corruption, and religious and racial hatred.

Yet at the end of each year, we celebrate life, the power of love, and the triumph of light over darkness. Much of what we do at year’s end is symbolic, like the lighting of candles on the Menorah. But it is vital that we do it and draw strength from it.

For, most of all, we celebrate hope. With hope, we are strong. We can conquer the chaos and fear that we encounter each day and help to build a better community, a better city, a better nation—a better world.The news seems worse every day, yet hatred and chaos are not inevitable. We can reject them, and many of us have. Humans have survived, not by conflict, but by cooperation and compassion. We have been teachers, healers, scientists, firefighters, and first responders. We have sacrificed for the common good. We have sought truth and understanding, for ourselves and for the future. We have much reason for hope.

This year, as in the past, our family lit its holiday porch lights on Halloween, as a welcome for neighbors and a counter to the darkness that we are living through. It is dark now, but light and hope can still triumph, and we can still win through to a better future.

May your holidays be filled with light and your days filled with hope.

Happy holidays from Bob and Ruth Seeley.