a new year. let’s start with I’m sorry.

As the new year rolls around, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Intramuralist. I believe intentionality is wise. So I ponder in the year ahead: what do we want to say… what do we want to cover… what is beneficial to pay attention to and what is a wise angle to take?

I pause a bit as I look at the year roaring toward us. I indeed wish it would come “not with a bang but a whimper.” But alas, there is much soon to ring in. Note a brief sampling…

The primary season begins next week. Super Bowl LVIII kicks off on Sunday, February 11th. Then comes the total solar eclipse in early April. The Summer Olympics will begin in Paris on Friday, July 26th. And on Tuesday, November 5th (dare we say it), in rolls Election Day. Ugh, I can hardly wait. Or not.

But as I think of all that’s coming in 2024, I think more so of what I want to say… what posture do I want to assume… and what’s most important… that is… what do we need to say first so that we can respond to both the expected and unexpected wisely and well?

How do we present opinion in a way that is good and right and true — and never compromise being respectful to all?

I think we first need to go here…

I’m sorry.

You heard me correctly.

I’m sorry.

I say that not with a sadness nor any kind of woe-is-me. There’s also no cringey or crumpled-up-face nor wish-you-didn’t-really-read-that. I said it. I mean it. And it’s exactly what I think we need to say first. It’s a bit of an annual accountability check. Allow me to explain.

Increasingly more I see persons absent any accountability. More and more they — I mean, we — justify the unjustifiable… 

We justify the anger; we justify the insult; we justify the canceling — or creatively attempt to call it something else. The bottom line is that we justify the wrongful treatment of someone. We say “we’re mad as hell and not going to take it any more,” and then we find really rude ways of not taking it. We tell someone off. We say we’ve had enough. We justify the fight. And we fight mean. 

We block. We unfriend. We tune totally out for reasons other than establishing healthy boundaries. We justify not listening. We even conclude in our heads and hearts there’s no need to. We then creatively craft some emotionally lofty perch to boldly conclude another is not worth listening to. We thereby justify concluding with total decisiveness we are right; there is no need to even consider another angle opinion or perspective. We justify the unjustifiable.

I get it. The reality is that we have had enough. We’re tired. We’re also hurt and angry, and we’ve been wronged. Maybe it isn’t us who’ve been hurt or angry or wronged, but we saw it done to someone else. We perceive someone treated poorly or oppressively and so the end absolutely justifies the means. And somewhere therein, the disrespectful crazy cycle has begun.

And we get arrogant. Puffed up. Stuck in our own, insulated eco-system. We stop learning; we only pad the opinion of what we already believe.  

As said, I’m sorry. 


Because sometimes that’s been me. Sometimes I’ve been stuck in the crazy cycle. Sometimes my opinion has made so much sense to me that there hasn’t existed any reason to research, listen, or be patient any more.  

Sometimes, even, I’ve come to the naive conclusion that because you disagree with me, you must not care as much as I do. Sometimes, friends, I’ve been disrespectful. I’ve been wrong.

The truth is I haven’t always led with humility. And that, my friends, is what I wish to do with all that’s coming in 2024. Whether it be the eclipse or the election, I promise to lead with humility.

I don’t promise to be perfect… an impossibility this side of eternity. But I do promise to react in what I believe is the only wise way forward.

Time to humbly (and wittingly) do this together. Here’s to all that’s ahead.