We're at that annual point in the calendar where festive feelings and festivals of hope and happiness are everywhere. A week ago last Saturday the Norwich Winterfest Parade and lighting of City Hall thrilled throngs from across the city and around the region. We've already observed the first Sunday of Advent and this Saturday evening at sundown, 25 Kislev, we celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah.
Most of us look forward to this 'most wonderful time of the year' as an opportunity to renew old acquaintances with friends and family and sharing memories of happy, past times while looking forward to better days yet to come.
This is a season ideally suited to underscore and reaffirm the importance for each us, both as individuals and as residents of a city with a rich past and unproven future promise, the importance of Life's 3 C's: Choices, Chances and Changes.
Each of us must make a choice to take a chance or our lives will never change. Some people feel the key lies in the change but I believe making and owning that one conscious choice is critical to recognizing an opportunity or a chance and then building on that to create a new circumstance and a different situation, in other words, a change.
Opportunities can be missed or can be golden. They cannot be both and once the Rubicon is crossed the decision is made and managing the consequences becomes the chance to change. Continuing to discuss the would've, could've and should've is wasted effort unless we choose to act and embrace change. Nothing ever happens if you don't make it happen.
Saying 'no' as we did in this city a month ago to a bonding initiative to build a new public safety building is not the last word either on the community's commitment to public safety or on the importance of elected and appointed city leaders in defining and defending their vision of our downtown's growth and improvement. The decision made was a first, not a final, step on a journey that we will make either running toward our future or from it. There's no standing still.
The holiday season is one of hope and you know my feelings about that word (hope is NOT a plan). We have three and half weeks left in a year that began, as they all do, with so much promise. How much progress we measure as the days draw down is, of course, important not only because we need to know where we are but to better decide where we go next.
Ray Bradbury, of Fahrenheit 451 fame, offered "living is jumping off the cliff and building wings on your way down." Isn't it time we trusted ourselves to soar? Choice, chance and change or lather, rinse and repeat. You decide; I already have.