Night cruising during the holiday season is one of our favorite December pastimes. Almost as soon as the Thanksgiving dinner dishes have been cleaned up, nightfall reveals homes transformed into magical cakes made of blue, red, green and white lights. We hop into the car and drive through dark local neighborhoods now lit by gleaming vines of light twisting up trees and across rooftops. We marvel at yards transformed into grazing grounds for impossible glimmering light deer surrounded by shining light angels trumpeting to the skies.
Those twinkling lights are a gift. They’re a reminder of the child within each of us – the wonder-filled innocent who believes in fairy tales and happily ever after, who knows the world is a magical place. By stringing those lights, we’re creating that magical world, if only for a few weeks.
I think that’s what the holiday season is really about – no matter what your religion, no matter what you believe. It’s a celebration of that child who knows that the world is a good place, that it’s important to be kind, to share, to play well with others, to have fun.
I feel so incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to the inspiring women (and men) who are guests on 51%. No matter how tired I’m feeling, no matter how discouraged, each week promises a conversation with someone who’s passionate about an issue, who’s making a difference.
Laurie Bassi, co-author of Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era, backs up optimism about the future of global corporations with solid research proving that businesses do better by doing good. She’s convinced that because the bottom line benefits when companies are good stewards of the environment, their communities and their own organizations, we’re moving steadily into a new era of corporate accountability.
Tanya Denckla Cobb’s book, Reclaiming Our Food: How The Grassroots Food Movement Is Changing The Way We Eat is another bright spot in a world blanketed by bad news. She documents changes that are creating a growing movement toward healthier, more wholesome food.
I was also inspired by my visit to an Occupy Movement encampment. At Occupy Albany, a tent city that sprang up across the street from New York’s Capitol building, a young man spoke movingly about the impact the movement’s decision-making process has had on him. He described meetings where issues were discussed, everyone spoke, and no decisions were ratified until consensus was reached.
“It’s messy and it’s slow,” he said, “but it is absolutely amazing to see because it works.”
What he was describing was a pure democracy.
There are brilliant points of light and there are others like them all over the world. Each week, when another of them is featured on 51%, their light shines on listeners wherever they may be.
It is, in a way, like decorating a house for the holidays. Listen in and enjoy the glow of these reminders of what a wonderful world it can be. The only difference is, these lights shine all year long.
Happy holidays to you and the ones you love and best wishes for a peaceful and beautiful New Year for us all.
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Barnett is the producer and host of 51%
The Women’s Perspective,
a weekly women’s issues radio show carried nationally on NPR,
ABC and Armed Forces Radio stations. 51% The Women’s Perspective
is part of WAMC
- Northeast Public Radio’s national productions. "The View From Outside," Susan Barnett’s new collection of short fiction, is available in eBook format at Amazon and Barnes and Noble through Hen House Press. You can connect with her on Facebook.
Photo by DB Leonard.