Greetings for This Season

Author: Gary Hart

Among the many things for which I am thankful, this small but persistent network of thoughtful people is one.  Decency and common respect in the expression of opinions, especially on highly volatile subjects, is now more rare than it used to be.

Even our friendly virtual neighborhood is a blessing in a world that seems occasionally inclined to tear itself apart.  Perhaps this is where society is headed, not to the arenas and grand ballrooms of the like-minded but to places where thoughtful people with shared concerns can find a forum to discuss those concerns with respect and civility.

There is much these days to make sensitive and sensible people sad.  But there are enough lights in enough windows to give us direction and even hope for a better tomorrow.

In an age of diversity, we are people of different faiths, or no faith at all, different histories and cultures, and different political opinions and ideologies.  But people of good will all want things to be better, less hatred and division and much more common understanding and tolerance.

So, to all my friends within this circle, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a joyous Kwanzaa, and blessings on many faiths.

Lift up your eyes to the stars, help those in need of help, march on, and most of all keep that light in the window for the weary traveler and the lost soul searching for home.



11 Responses to “Greetings for This Season”

  1. Stephen D. Pillow Says:

    Senator Hart,

    Thank you for providing this meeting place for those of us, who visit it. I for one appreciate the wonder of what you so eloquently stated about it.

    Bless you and yours,


  2. Michael Says:

    Happy holidays to all as we hurtle toward what certainly will be a momentous year in the history of this nation. Thank you, Senator Hart, for taking the time to publish your thoughtful essays.

  3. Jeff Phillips Says:

    Your thoughts made a Jackson Browne song pop into my head: Alive in the World.
    I want to live in the world, not inside my head
    I want to live in the world, I want to stand and be counted
    With the hopeful and the willing
    With the open and the strong
    With the voices in the darkness
    Fashioning daylight out of song
    And the millions of lovers
    Alive in the world

    I want to live in the world, not behind some wall
    I want to live in the world, where I will hear if another voice should call
    To the prisoner inside me
    To the captive of my doubt
    Who among his fantasies harbors the dream of breaking out
    And taking his chances
    Alive in the world

    To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
    To open my eyes and finally arrive in the world

    With its beauty and its cruelty
    With its heartbreak and its joy
    With it constantly giving birth to life and to forces that destroy
    And the infinite power of change
    Alive in the world

    To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
    To open my eyes and finally arrive in the world
    To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
    To open my eyes and finally arrive in the world.

  4. Eric C. Jacobson Says:

    “There is much these days to make sensitive and sensible people sad. But there are enough lights in enough windows to give us direction and even hope for a better tomorrow.”—GH Greetings for This Season essay, December 22nd, 2019

    One of the saddest is our nation’s malign neglect of the utterly destitute non-criminal population, some mentally ill, some not, whose basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and health care go chronically unmet. The VA estimates that among them are 300,000 discharged veterans across the nation who are homeless.

    Among those lighting a candle against the prevailing national pall of darkness is Don Caron (see link above). His ingenious educational “parody” musical indictments of: Our Not-Great society, our virtually universally mediocre-to-execrable political leaders and civil society elites, and our gullible misled populace (present company all notably excepted), in a small way at least does what the greatest poets do. As President Kennedy said in his October 1963 Amherst College eulogy for Robert Frost: “When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

  5. Brian McCarthy Says:


    Merry Christmas to you and your family, and happy holidays to my fellow fans of this blog.


  6. Edward Goldstick Says:

    Seasonal holiday greetings to all…

    … and thank you, Gary, for being a thoughtful host year-round!

  7. Raymond Matlock Says:

    Dear Senator Hart,
    Thank you for keeping the light burning, and for being the conscience of our Republic.
    With hope,
    Ray Matlock

  8. H Patrick Pritchard Says:

    Senator Hart: I have probably known you longer than most and have always admired your sense of fairness, dedication to civility and respect for the opinions of others. You abhor rancor, political pettiness and dogma. I am grateful for the forum you’ve provided for the expression of opinion, ideas, and potential solutions to problems facing humanity!

    The current polarization of political discourse that grips this country and denigrates the principles set forward by our founders on governance is the greatest threat we face. All other issues are denied plausible solutions without a resolution to this central problem.

    Reflecting on this situation I am reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy in his commencement address at American University:

    “So, let us not be blind to our differences—but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

    As President Kennedy stated many times: “These problems are man-made and can be solved by man.”

  9. Neil McCarthy Says:

    For the New Year, a prayer — Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life”

    Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each tomorrow
    Find us farther than today.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act,—act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o’erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;—

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

    * * * * *
    And, Senator Hart, thanks for your continuing “footprints on the sands of time”.

  10. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Here’s wishing you all the very best in 2020 – including, at the very least, a new POTUS! 🙂

  11. H Patrick Pritchard Says:

    Thank you Neil McCarthy!

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