I know…it’s been a very long time since you’ve heard from me, but this felt like the right time for all of the obvious and maybe some not so obvious reasons. As this crazy year comes to an end there are some thoughts and messages I’d like to share with you.
First, a bit of catch up on “the news”…We are in the end stages of a Very Covid Christmas in our home. My wife, daughter who came all the way from LA and I had/have it. Thanks to the miracle of vaccines the symptoms were relatively mild and we are fine and will be back into the world again soon. Sadly our newly-wedded daughter and son-in-law had to cancel their plans to join us so we will make do. As you all deal with the presence of Omicron and the attendant frenzy know that vaccination does matter, certainly from our experience, as well as from the perspective of respected health professionals that we know quite well. In the words of one “They saved your lives, literally”. And yes we were boostered! So we give thanks.
Life here in Madrid is full of life and the high energy of the Christmas season but also a bit under the cloud of the virus. What had been strong positive data regarding infection in the region changed dramatically and quickly. It has prompted the expected run on Antigen tests as people want to be sure of their status before visiting vulnerable family members. Nothing dramatic has been done regarding public health measures as yet, hospitals are not in crisis and mortality is still low…but post Christmas, which here ends Jan 7 stronger measures might be taken. And, there’s also the hopeful news out of South Africa that the spike of infections dropped as rapidly as it rose, so fingers crossed that we see that repeated everywhere.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Dan Rather, during the days when we both were at CBS. I always respected Dan as a professional and as my former boss and mentor, who also produced the Rather News looked back, we felt those were golden days in the world of broadcast news. Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings as well as Dan competed fiercely but with a collective ethic and respect for truth and the honor of the larger journalistic profession that they were part of, with shares of voice that today are unimaginable. I learned to like Dan even more as a person as I got to know him. Today his voice is as clear, if not clearer than it was those years ago and I am so grateful to be able to share his perspective and wisdom on the Steady Newsletter that he has on this platform. If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been thinking about the goings on of the larger world, read Steady, because Dan says it better and since I’ve started reading it, I’ve yet to disagree.
This is also the 75th Anniversary of the release of It’s a Wonderful Life, the gold standard of Christmas movies. Frank Capra had a way of telling stories that made a historical impact on the art of movie making and, as if not more importantly, on the audiences that saw and experienced them. At one time or another all of us go through periods of trail where we sink so deeply into our sadness that hopelessness creeps in as well. Whether the trouble is of our own doing or just the unkind fates it’s so tempting to give in to despair…and yet our inner George Bailey finds the resolve to move forward, to see the possibility of redemption even in the midst of our greatest despair.
No matter your faith, this season offers the message of hope that the worst of what we’ve done or who we have become is not beyond redemption. I know from hard personal experience that the journey isn’t an easy one, and I also know that without loving support it’s nearly impossible. But I also know what life can be like once you’ve made the turn and have integrated the lessons that adversity has offered you into being a better person that you might otherwise have been. The headlines offer us all reason to despair and feel that our nation, our planet and the futures of our children and of theirs is hopeless and beyond repair, but the message of Christmas tells us otherwise: The best in us can still overcome the worst of what surrounds us. That offer of hope is there for us all and my Christmas wish & hope is that it will reach and touch everyone.
Peter—sorry you were afflicted but glad you have overcome the virus! Merry merry Xmas to you and yours. Be well—DT
Sorry to hear you had to suffer through Covid and glad the symptoms were mild. Merry Christmas to your family and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou 💜🎄🎉