Reflections on My 2023

Publisher Michael Gelbman finds some perspective amid the divisiveness.

PUBLISHED JAN 1, 2024 2:13 P.M.
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As I look back on this past year, I am reminded how short life can be. Early in the year, I found myself in the hospital, thinking I had the flu. It turned out to be something worse. I lay there thinking about what is important and pondering where I should focus my energy in whatever time I have left in this world. First: family and friends. It was comforting to have my wife, Kelly, by my side and friends who came by or called to see how I was doing.

Second, I have also taken time this year to think about the political situation in our country, and more recently about what is going on throughout the world. In our society today, many people are more apt and too quick to point out our differences, rather than recognize things that we have in common. So why is that? Well I guess it’s easier to point fingers and cast doubt than it is to find solutions to common problems. It’s hard to talk when no one is listening. 

So let’s look at what we all have in common regardless of politics, race, religion, or wealth. Again first: family. I truly believe that all parents want a better future for their children. All value education and a cleaner planet, and some want to build a little generational wealth. While these are easy enough concepts to grasp, it is hard to come to a consensus on how we get there. Each of us, based on how we were raised and where we were raised, have a different vision of what this means. But again, at the end of the day, we all want better for our families.

Our perspectives, based on events that have impacted our lives, make us see things from our own points of view. We have different ideas about what we think is important and what we see as solutions. But if we can’t rise above the noise, how will we get there? If we strip away our politics, our religions, our social status, and even our skin color, we are all the same—individuals just trying our best to get through the day.

Life is hard, but it is important that we all take a step back, take a deep breath, and live for the day, for our families and friends, and for our own happiness. I do not claim to have the answers, but we need to work together to find common ground. I am fortunate to work for an organization with a mission to provide access to trustworthy news and information so individuals can find resources that cut through the noise—this is why I have been in the journalism industry for over 30 years. I’m happy that California Local also offers access to nonprofits and elected leaders, so people can connect and make their communities better.

I hope that each of you takes a moment to breathe, and decide, “I can help make a positive impact.” I wish you and your family a healthy and happy New Year.

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