“An intellectual hatred’s the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.”
W. B. Yeats, “A Prayer for My Daughter”
Nothing is ever like it was before. That’s one more reason to be present and fully alive in the moments we have. Not one of them can be retrieved, no matter how much we might long to do so. There are no do-overs.
That may not sound like the cheeriest holiday thought, but it’s the spirit in which I wrote a KERA/NPR radio commentary that aired a few days ago. We live in contentious, quarrelsome times that are remarkable for the vast number of things we find to argue about. The forces that make for division and strife seem far more powerful than the forces that unify.
Orwell said that there is no avoiding politics in our time, so here’s my holiday wish: If we must disagree, let’s strive to do it with civility and respect, keeping in mind that name-calling and arrogant certainty may titillate the true believers, but they do nothing to bring new converts to your cause. Nobody ever got humiliated or battered into changing their mind.
To hear the commentary, click MP3 here.
I’ll be traveling a few days and may not check in until after Christmas, so best wishes for happiness, health, peace and clarity now and in the year to come.