This year is coming to a close…

By any measure 2017 has been a very uncertain and contentious year in our country. The communities that we serve, the Conejo Valley, Malibu and Pacific Palisades, are more fortunate and less impacted by many of the troubles swirling about the rest of our state, country and even the world. But what does the future hold? Will the air continue to be cleaner than it was when I arrived in California 40 years ago? Or will suddenly unleashed fossil fuel polluters destroy what has been achieved by so many years of hard environmental management? Will our liberties become eroded by dictatorial populism? Please remember that Nazism, Fascism and Communism were populist movements. Will the stark divisions so evident in the rest of the country take hold in California as well?

On a social level, all of this translates to bringing our very complex and diverse society together; we also need to make an effort to better understand and respect differences. An elitist, overly politically correct attitude contributes toward increasing the divide. On the other hand, “I’ve got it and the heck with you” does the same thing. We cannot allow our communities, our state and our country to become fence sitters staring across an abyss at each other. We are better than that. The outreach in our local communities through nonprofits and individual effort never ceases to amaze me. The fact is that our communities are very affluent, but when it comes to supporting the people in our community and beyond, “we put our money where our mouth is.”

Normally messages this time of year are filled with good cheer and happiness. Let’s get beneath that seasonal surface and reach out and really come together in 2018. If we do that as individuals and through our communities, perhaps the dysfunctional politicians on both sides of the political aisle can reboot and actually get something accomplished for not only their narrow constituencies but the entire country.

Best wishes for a healthy and enjoyable holiday season from the Lifestyle team!