A Time for Finding Common Ground

In the new year, I focus on what is important—family and friends.

PUBLISHED JAN 1, 2023 6:53 P.M.
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We are tied to friends and family despite our differences. And when we listen to each other, we can find common ground.

We are tied to friends and family despite our differences. And when we listen to each other, we can find common ground.   Lightspring   Shutterstock

Like everyone, during the holidays I reflect on the past year and take time to focus on what is important—which for me is family and friends. 

With all the noise that surrounds and divides us—including the media, some elected officials and even some friends and family members—it’s all too easy to overlook our common ground. We want a better life for our kids; we all want to be better people; and we want to be able to provide for our families.

Now more than ever, it is important to hear what those with whom we disagree are really saying. It starts at home. If we are not listening to our family members and seeking to find common ground, then how can we expect our communities and our country to move forward?

I have longtime friends that I haven’t spoken to in several years because one or both of us feel the other has gone off the deep end. I have friends who have become disconnected from family—including one  who no longer speaks to her own brother because of politics. 

However, I also have a good friend who is on the opposite side of the divide from myself, and we still have civil conversations. When we listen to each other, we can find common ground. 

I am fortunate to work for an organization that stakes out that common ground by presenting information in a way that encourages readers to learn something and come to their own conclusions. We like to say, “We make it easy to citizen.” We do this by providing links to reliable local media sources and our own explanatory articles that put the news in context. We do this by providing government directories that help you connect with your elected officials and other public servants. We do this by providing community organization directories, where you can learn about local nonprofits, and easily donate or volunteer. We provide this information for free.

To all who have joined us as members, I want to thank you for your patronage. To those who come to our site through a link to a story or government entity, I invite you to join—again it’s free; just give us your name and zip code so we can localize your experience. 

I would also ask you in this season of giving to consider becoming an individual sponsor, to help us continue to provide all of this information for free.

While I am not naïve, and don’t think everything is going to be better overnight—or even by the end of 2023—I am excited about being a part of an organization that wants to bring people together, and happy about being part of positive change. Please join me in this effort.

Have a great 2023!

Michael Gelbman is the publisher of CaliforniaLocal.com.

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