how we’ll approach the new year

And here we are, ushering in 2020, somewhere in between a rhetorical bang and a whimper.

We certainly don’t know all that will happen in the year ahead, all the current events that will occur, which we may or may not discuss here. Consider a mere ten events we expect to unfold in the twelve months ahead…

  • Determination of the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee
  • The Grand Egyptian Museum’s completion, considered the largest archaeological museum in the world
  • Major League Baseball’s World Series, already set to begin on Oct. 20th
  • NASA’s Mars 2020 mission studying the habitability of Mars
  • The return of “Top Gun” (and Tom Cruise!) in “Top Gun: Maverick”
  • The Senate impeachment trial of Pres. Trump
  • The Summer Olympics — featuring 339 events in 33 sports held in Toyko, Japan
  • Super Bowl LIV — deciding the NFL champion — to be played on Feb. 2nd in Miami
  • The United States presidential election — the 59th quadrennial event
  • United Kingdom and Gibraltar’s exit from the European Union

All this and more is expected in the year ahead. All sorts of issues will evolve. Some we will discuss on the Intramuralist. Some we will not. Some items will be controversial. Some will not. 

But in each of these resulting issues — and in the unexpected scenarios and circumstances, problems and proceedings, miracles and tragedies that arise — I will promise you this…

We will ardently aim and advocate for:

  • Respectful dialogue
  • Welcoming of diverse opinion
  • Love of all humankind
  • Generous grace
  • And the constant pursuit of truth

To be blunt, sometimes I will fail in one or more of the above. My apologies — tis not my intent. However, this side of walking on water, all of us will fail sometime in perfect adherence to what we believe. Failure, my friends, is one of life’s greatest teachers.

And so today’s post is really more of a reminder — a referencing of our mantra, so-to-speak, in what the Intramuralist is set up to do. We are here to encourage, inspire, discuss, debate, and learn from one another. All opinion is welcomed as long as it is said in a way respectful of the one who thinks differently than you.

I was reminded of the great value in this as I recently finished Chip and Dan Heath’s “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.” The brothers referenced what social psychology terms the “fundamental attribution error,” something each of us — arguably too often — do. We tend to blame a conflict with another squarely on that person, under-emphasizing the situation at hand. Let’s be honest; blaming another is easier.

If we instead engage, therefore, in respectful dialogue, welcoming diverse opinion — especially from those who think differently than us — committed to loving all, offering generous grace while pursuing the truth — we will grow. And growth for each of us is necessary and good.

So here’s to 2020. Here’s to the events and issues we will discuss.

Some will be hard. For you. For me. For each of us. 

(Just wait for Wednesday.) 

May we learn from one another.