Endings and Beginnings Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 571

As the year draws to a close, many of us reflect on the past months, taking stock of our triumphs and missteps. The media floods our screens with retrospectives, highlighting the achievements and challenges of both the famous and the unsung. But amidst this deluge of recollections, we must ask ourselves: What truly resonates with us? What personal milestones have we marked, and what aspirations do we hold for the year ahead? How do we see ourselves, one person, making a difference in this world and journey we individually travel?

This year, for my family and me, was scarred by profound loss and anguish with ongoing turmoil in Israel following the October 7 events. The path to answers is shadowed and fraught, yet the quest for peace, justice, and freedom shines undiminished as we usher in the New Year.

In the midst of sorrow, I have also seen a tapestry of unity, empathy, and kindness. The generosity displayed — not just in monetary terms but in the investment of hours of volunteerism, skills, donation of goods, talent, and time — embodies Anne Frank’s sentiment: “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”

As the candles of Chanukah and Christmas were kindled, casting a warm glow against the night, we are reminded of the profound power of light that “a single candle can defy and define the darkness.” It is my hope that each of us, illuminate the world this year, one small light at time until the light of peace prevails everywhere.

Wishing you and yours a new year filled with wholeness, health, light, love, and peace.

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