I Salute You
To My Electronically Connected Friends and Family,
I salute you.
At the end of every year, like everybody else, I take a moment or two for personal reflection and review. I guess we have been tutored by our society, or maybe our own media, to take some time at this part of the year to take a short personal inventory and perhaps a quick review of the wherefores and whyfores of our circumstances. Some of us make resolutions and perhaps others start thinking of restitutions. However, there does seem to be a specific dividing line in the calendar between what was and what is to become the new what is.
No matter what your perspective is, I think we can all agree that it has been an amazing year. That amazement doesn't mean it was all good, because I know too many extraordinary professional friends looking for work and reassessing both their careers and how they will fit into the publishing world of 2010.
I feel it very safe to say that in this year 2009 of on-going war, industry-wide layoffs and the general uncertainties of life as we knew it, we have all had reassessments forced upon us in one way or another. At this time, I think many of us are challenging our old calculations and personal observations of what once was a stable professional environment.
It has always been my preference to seek the good or, if not exactly the good, at least the best that I can find in any dark situation, be it in my personal or my professional life. I have learned many things over the years. History proves that wars come and then they go, that business downturns appear when least expected and retreat just the same, that the winter is cold only to be followed by the beauty of a warm summer's day. However, the most enduring cycle throughout history is of love, family and friendship.
That being said, I am sending you all my annual holiday hug and the hope that you are surrounded by love, family and friendship. I salute you.
When I say, "I salute you," it is with pride and in earnest. I love being in this profession of ours. I have always felt that I was empowered as a member of a noble group who are focused on the distribution of knowledge and information. Can it get any better than that as a profession? We are, all of us, one of the strongest and most important bedrocks of a democracy: the free distribution of thought—all thought.
My friends, the following message was first sent in 1513 A.D. It has become my traditional year-end expression of hope and reflection. In it I find a certain central peace and great depth. Every time I read it, I come away with a little more understanding.
Like the author, I hope that your paths are clear of shadows and that you have the time and sensibilities to take a few moments to really stop and look around you. Most of us work too hard and forget the reasons for our energetic professional pursuits. I learned years ago that I was "working to live, not living to work." I think sometimes we forget that. Work is a means to keep a safe roof over our heads, food on the table, and to help facilitate the comfort and joy of family and friends.
In the end, it is our ability to love and share that love that has any real long-lasting meaning.
I wish you all peace and sensibility.
I SALUTE YOU!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not;
but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
And so, at this holiday time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever,
the day breaks and the shadows flee away.