A Prayer For The New Year: May ’21 Be A Year Of Reconciliation

Happy New Year!

I’m so happy to be turning the page on 2020 that I may be saying that for a while. I hope you indulge me.

As we’ve just learned, years can have “personalities”—themes that can define the 12 months.

2020 was chaotic, scary, divisive and harsh. It was a hard year.

I’m hoping that the dynamics of 2020 will spur a backlash and unleash a strong desire to right the ship so to speak. Wouldn’t be nice if 2021 was a year of healing? Healing from the virus, healing the economy and healing from divisive politics that has divided our nation and our city. Yes, we need to get well again.

The word that keeps entering my mind is reconciliation; the restoration of friendly relations.

So let’s dream a bit.

What does reconciliation look like? What would it feel like to heal?

At some point, we will probably have to fix the cesspool that is Washington or at least make it nominally functional. But we are a hyper local blog so we will leave the national politics to someone else for now and concentrate on the hot mess that is Delray.

Yes, it’s a hot mess my friends. It doesn’t give me joy to diagnose this but if we love Delray—and we do—we owe ourselves an accurate diagnosis so that we may get about the urgent business of fixing things.

Right now, we are a divided town.

There are “teams” in town that absolutely despise and mistrust each other.

This is a horrible development because we are also neighbors and even in a pandemic we can’t avoid bumping into each other try as we might to pretend that the others don’t exist.

Now to be sure, most people are living blissfully happy lives in the village by the sea, enjoying wonderful weather and dreaming of a post-pandemic Delray when we will be able to move about without worries.

But for those involved in the politics of this town, the tension is palatable.

Reconciliation would simply mean we could hold different views without burning each other’s houses down. We have to learn how to disagree with each other and still remember that we live in the same country and town and that we still have common goals, dreams and wishes. I have a feeling that would feel pretty good. I have a belief that such a culture would lead to progress and solutions.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one (thanks John Lennon).

The New Year means that we are about to hit warp speed on another election cycle.

This one is important with three seats on the commission up for grabs.

In a dream world, the political process should be exciting because we get to debate the future of a town we love.  Instead our politics have become brutal.

It’s not about problem solving or building community; instead it’s become about tearing people down.


Now don’t get me wrong, I think candidates records are fair game and frankly so is their character. So if you have been occupying a seat you should be prepared to defend your votes, leadership style and track record. Ideally, you should be proud of that record and able to share a long list of civic accomplishments.

And if you are a challenger you ought to be prepared to make a case about why you should be hired. And it’s not just about ideas and vision, it’s about your ability to work with others and get things done.

If you are a bully you ought to be held to account. If you have failed to deliver on promises, people ought to know it. Once again, it’s about getting things done.

Being an elected official is a job to do, not to have.

Which brings us back to the word reconciliation.

We live in a complex world. The craziness and complexity is dizzying and at times scary.

To cope and move forward, I find it makes sense to boil down issues and disputes to their simplest elements. And the plain truth is if we want to move forward as people, a community or a country we need to reconcile. We need to find reconciliation.

In the Bible, reconciliation is the end of estrangement—we are called to forgive.

Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand. It’s true. He was called Honest Abe for a reason.

It is important to let things go. Our ability to move forward depends on our ability to let things go.

The Roman philosopher Seneca—who is all the rage these days—once said “don’t stumble over something behind you,” which means we cannot seize the bounty of a new year if we are consumed by the past.

We begin 2021 with a raging hangover from the past year, which was horrible. It will take a while for that hangover to fade but we have 12 months to make things better. I believe we can.

Editor’s note: We begin the new year with sad news. Our friend Martin Tencer, a long time, devoted Delray Beach Police Department volunteer passed away on New Year’s Day. Marty spent 25 years as a volunteer and won an International Chiefs of Police Association Award for his work in 2008. In a word, he was wonderful. He will be remembered and missed. Marty loved the department and the city and he was loved in return.



  1. I agree with you
    And it is going to take work from everyone
    Let’s get started

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.