As I write this letter on Christmas Day, I give thanks to all that conspires to teach me about life, including the sacred and the profane.
In terms of the sacred, I thank Edgar Allen Beem for fearlessly giving voice to the progressive view and especially for his column on the blessings of giving and receiving. What could bond humanity more than the relationship of these acts done with gratefulness and compassion?
On the profane side, I thank Christine Rousselle for her Forecaster Forum on dealing with “welfare queens.” As a fellow retail worker, I too have judged people as having “misused” their food stamp allotments, although, they have not done so nearly as egregiously as the 1 percent have misused what has been allotted them.
During my 56 years, I have often struggled with the tension between head and heart, almost always landing on the latter’s side, with all its attendant bumps and bruises. And while I have moved toward my head in my later years, I have tried not to leave my heart behind. I realize that people struggle in this life and some are more blessed than others in how to deal with the complexities of life.
So, I thank both writers, Beem and Rousselle, for instructing me further on what it means to be generous and forgiving and what it means to be judging and harsh.
And what I have learned from these lessons is to be less judgmental and lead with my heart, without forsaking my head.