And in despair I bowed my head:
There is no peace on earth, I said,
For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864
written during the Civil War
excerpt, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Elections. Lockdowns. Division. What a challenging year. And what a test of fortitude for our nation, our businesses and our personal lives.
Lockdowns have led to the financial ruin of millions. On the rise are suicides, depression, bureaucracy, foreign power and corruption. But don’t worry about that statue of St. Junipero Serra in San Francisco. It’s been handled.
We look forward to a fresh start in the new year ahead. Similar to Longfellow’s experience, the landscape is fraught with battles. And fight we must. Maybe not the blood-soaked fight of the Civil War, but ever as important, our freedom and civil liberties hang in the balance.
What better time than Christmas—and the renewal it promises—to recount and remember those things which are true.
The noise of 2020 has been, at times, deafening, even consuming. Lest we forget, “struggle brings strength.”
The year ahead promises to free us from the challenges of lockdowns and their accompanying fear, anger and distrust. It will be up to us to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Business owners, apartment owners and operators, developers and builders are a resilient lot. Life intersects our businesses every day. Life will always be a beautiful mess and our task will always to be to seek truth.
The absence of struggle—as simple as rising in the morning and adding order to the day, to your work, to your family’s life—is chaos.
The next stanza of Wadsworth’s poem reminds us that even through darkness there is hope beyond this moment, beyond this world:
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor does He sleep,
For Christ is here; His Spirit near
Brings peace on earth, good will to men.
Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Happy New Year. May the year ahead bring you relief and joy beyond measure.