Here in South Pasadena, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of idyllic security: beautiful surroundings, safe neighborhoods, great schools, art and architecture, culture and recreation, and a diverse community intent on preserving what we have for future generations to enjoy.
We're extremely fortunate, and luckier than a lot of other people sharing this planet.
You'll all forgive me a rare lapse into my own personal politics, but here's my heartfelt wish for President-elect Obama and his new administration: that through their work, more people will have a chance to enjoy the good life. That change and hope are not just beautiful nouns to hypnotize an electorate but action items to build a better country. That the trusted ideals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and not the tarnished fantasies of Milton Friedman inspire new plans to benefit workers as well as shareholders. That our fragile planet's ecology receive more thoughtful solutions than Cap and Trade. That women's rights be a top priority, not just a tool for voter manipulation, and that equal pay for equal work become a reality, not just a forgotten slogan from the 1970s. That not only our children but the children in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Gaza, and Iran, and all other regions lashed raw by violence (or awaiting a strike) will have reason to believe that America is a land of peacemakers and reformers, of fairness and humility, of innovation and collaboration, of accountability and honor, of tolerance and charity.
It's a tall order, I know. But something tells me these are extraordinary times...