Among the many blessings of aging is that along with the extra pounds and fine lines grows a considerable amount of perspective. Although a few of us get a bit crankier as our bones begin to creak, there are just as many that come to better understand the difference between the truly unacceptable and the merely inconvenient. Life is long, and much learning occurs. Things that we found to be beyond the pale in the rigid certainty of ignorant youth come to light with greater nuance as we travel through life. The “I will nevers” of a teenager become the “I can understand whys, even tolerate” of a fully developed adult.
Despite social media, politics and the 24-hour news cycle, this is a season to pull together. What does it really matter if Aunt Jane disagrees with us on the genesis of the pandemic if she makes killer sweet potato pie? And even if Uncle Mitchell demands that we defund this or that, he still used to attend all of our childhood softball games, cheering the loudest.
If Ecclesiastes has it right and “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” why can’t this be a season of acceptance? If we are so certain in our position or simply too immature to get over ourselves, can’t we just overlook the disagreement and seek to find commonality for a few short weeks? With the cold, grey days of February, we can return to disliking each other again. But maybe, just maybe, we will have realized that it all didn’t really matter as much as we thought. Grandma only had one brother, and it would make her very happy to know that he came over for dinner – even if he is a Patriots fan!