From the editor: So, this is Christmas
John and Yoko were within their rights to look perhaps a bit dejected at the state of their world when they sang “Happy Xmas (War is over),” making famous the words, “So, this is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over, a new one just begun.”
It’s a part of human nature to be pessimistic — and it’s not inherently a bad part. We should demand more of ourselves, of our family, of our community, of our world. We should see what needs to be improved. We should want more. We shouldn’t settle.
But this Christmas season — one that is titled with hope and good cheer but is so, so often accompanied by depression, grief, sorrow, frustration and disappointment — can be a moment for optimism.
That’s another part of human nature — we’re a complicated creation, after all — and it’s one that I’d encourage anyone reading this to find in yourself at this time.
In Moffat County, there is more than enough to be worried about. There is more than enough to be disappointed about, to pine for, to be unsatisfied with. There is more than enough that we cannot and must not accept. All of that is worth acknowledging.
But it’s also worth acknowledging what is good. And there’s a lot of it.
Is it a shock to the system that we live in a world where Friday the high school was locked down out of an internet threat of violence? Absolutely. But let’s also be grateful for attentive and dedicated law enforcement who immediately responded and kept the school safe, for quick-thinking administrators and students who reported the threat and enacted the protocol, and for the great mercy it was that the threat was evidently wholly unfounded. Everyone is safe. It shouldn’t be like this. But what gratitude we should feel that it happened the way it did.
Is it concerning beyond understanding that the future of our community is as uncertain as it feels like it is given the impending end of our primary industry? Yes. But there’s room for gratitude that we have thoughtful, energetic folks of all ages and backgrounds looking ahead and working on solutions big and small. And just as much, let’s be grateful to live in a place where it matters to just about all of us that we preserve what is great about it. Not everywhere has that. We do.
Is the news of an encroaching new COVID-19 variant a bit terrifying? Of course. But let’s be grateful that we made it through the first few waves, that our healthcare providers have learned a lot, that a vaccine can largely protect those of us who avail ourselves of it, and that, frankly, as bad as it’s been so far, we’re all still here, aren’t we? This pandemic has been world-shattering, but it’s also been life-affirming. It’s reminded us of what matters most on so many levels.
There are disappointments, dissatisfaction and disasters abound. But all that frightens us or depresses us is evidence that we are blessed with something to lose — and something to fight for. There is room for gratitude, for optimism and for hope.
This Christmas season, let’s find that hope. Even if we have to tie ourselves up in mental knots to identify a reason for it, let’s make hope a priority.
All of us have something for which to be grateful.
Among so much else, I have you, Craig. Thank you for welcoming me to your home — to my home.
So, this is Christmas, and what have we done? Let me show you. You might be surprised.
Merry Christmas, Moffat County.
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