— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice
I like to check in here daily.
I like social media.
I admit it without shame.
I’m old enough to remember the whole concept of pen pals.
I think we were in the 4th, or maybe the 5th grade.
Our teacher assigned us each a total stranger from a distant land.
I’m pretty sure the person I ended up writing to was in the Philippines.
I really enjoyed the whole thing – it was like traveling to another culture.
What’s the point? Simple.
I am friends today with people I genuinely care about, all over America, the Philippines, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the U.K., Israel, Germany, Colombia, and those are just the ones I can think of quickly.
The world is a smaller place because of the power of technological communication.
I’m digressing only a bit here to make a larger point.
I like to check in here often.
Today, I woke up thinking hard about what to say.
If you follow me you know I like to help people save money on taxes.
This morning, as I slowly awoke, reading the news of the week on my phone before arising…
I found myself thinking about what to say today.
I use the Oliver Wendall Holmes quote in conversation with clients and others frequently.
The thought I couldn’t banish this morning was, “How civilized are we lately?”
The answer is clear.
Because theses images and stories and punditry you’re being served are talking about a tiny minority of my America.
The America of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Jefferson. Benjamin Franklin.
We were once, and will be again, the beacon of hope and love and freedom for the world.
I’m sure of it, because I paid attention in the interesting parts of history class as a kid.
People used to be really f*#!d-up to each other!
Witch burnings. Rack torture.
And even right here, the genocide of the vast majority of the indigenous people.
Not to mention the subjugation of the forcibly-displaced African peoples for profit
Any great movement of evolution is going to have waves and obstacles.
Often painful and even tragically fatal movements.
Nevertheless, I am convinced that the best of civilization is yet to come.
Because, the world.
The world is mostly a good place, full of love of family and charitable acts toward strangers.
You just don’t see that on the news as much because it’s not good TV.
But it’s there.
Do you have a family?
Do you love them, unconditionally?
That’s God at work.
I am convinced.
Final thought: did you know the United States of America is far and away per-capita the largest charitable giver on the planet?
Deep down, the good caring people of this great nation know:
Love is the answer.
Do something randomly kind today.
Tomorrow begins a new week, and…
…this potentially-amazing new year is just getting started.