It's interesting how a just a week's time can change everyone's perspective. Before Dec. 25, the conversations have some variation of "What do you want for Christmas?" The answers are some personal and tangible item, something that can be boxed up and decorated with a pretty bow.
Now consider the same conversations this week. Ask "What are your New Year's resolutions?" and the answers are more intangible. It's hard to wrap up things like losing weight, doing more volunteer work or hoping for world peace.
Between Christmas morning and New Year's Eve, the focus of holiday wishes shifts from personal pleasure to a better future andndash; whether for ourselves or for our neighbors. Best of all, as the world "grows smaller," we tend to realize that our neighbors could be around the corner or around the globe.
From this space, the Opinion Page of a community newspaper, we have a few appropriate wishes for the new year.
For example, we hope that the give-and-take of opinions about public issues can be more thoughtful, because we believe in honest and open debate. We hope those debates can be civil, because experience shows us that angry accusations simply build walls of resentment that are very hard to overcome. We hope that more people come to understand that some of those solutions might be choices, some of them might be compromises, and some of them might be delays to wait for some better options.
Finally, we hope to continue providing a public forum that is open to all opinions, without regard to whether we agree, think they are thoughtful, or believe they hold merit. We hope we can keep our rules on what we publish to a minimum, so that the community can keep talking and listening.
Through civil discourse, we hope that wise solutions can be found for the problems that face our community, state, nation and world. That would, indeed, be a happy new year.