A s Christmas and the New Year approach, it is a good time to reflect on the past year. For many in our city, it has been a challenging year particularly for those affected by the loss of employment and the economic recession. The heartening aspect of these events is the capacity that the people of West Park have in pulling together as a community to help each other out. Christmas is no exception. It is a time of peace and goodwill, when the spiritual and cultural messages stand tall. We are reminded of the true Christmas message of humility and generosity toward each other. We live in a vibrant and beautiful city in every respect. It is the role of your commission to continue to make our city safer and more prosperous while respecting our community. I believe 2013 will see the city move forward and be a place that you will continue to be proud to live in and call home. George Carlin wrote a message about the paradox of our time in history that I want to share in this article. He writes:
We have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window, and nothing in the stockroom.
It is a time when technology can bring this letter to you (as an e-mail), and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just shrug it off.
Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you because it is the only treasure you can give with your heart, and it does not cost a cent.
Remember, to say, “I love you” to your spouse and your loved ones, but most of all mean it.
A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment, for someday that person will not be there again.
“Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.”
To all my friends in my life, thanks for being there. There are many opportunities and activities to partake in during this season. Enjoy your time with family and friends. On behalf of myself and my fellow Commissioners, I want to wish you all a Happy Chanukah, Happy and Peaceful Christmas along with a Safe and Prosperous New Year. We are a city that does things together so celebrating Christmas and other major faith events helps us understand each other’s customs and traditions and develops a real sense of community and a culture of mutual respect. Despite there being an air of doom and gloom about with some tough decisions to be made about public spending, we will continue to embrace the spirit of Christmas. People want to see Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and hear carols, and we will not hesitate in supporting them. The festive period is a good time to reflect on what is really important to us. It is a fact that sometimes the tougher things are, the more we all pull together. Most of you will be spending time over the holiday at home with family and friends. As you settle down to enjoy the festivities, please spare a thought for the dedicated members of our armed forces who serve and protect our country throughout the year. Also, do not forget the people working hard to keep the city moving during this very busy season.
God bless the City of West Park and
God bless America!