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Between Yesterday and Tomorrow

It is now the first few hours of the New Year, and as I sit at the edge of the year 2020, I continue to think about three words and two phrases that occupied my mind over the past 30 plus days. In the days and weeks leading up to Christmas, I received many notes, some electronic and some in the more traditional form, wishing me and my family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I sent out similar good wishes to friends, acquaintances, and people I’ve done business with, and each time I thought about those three words and two phrases. I came to the conclusion I needed to take specific actions this year to more actively live into the call to action that lies in those words. This may sound to some like a New Year’s resolution, and to some extent, it may be.


Yet, this is not about losing weight, exercising more, or keeping up with the household chores better. These are important in their own way and lead to being a better person. I’ve come to the conclusion that so many of those more obvious goals don’t get carried out in a sustained way because the virtues have not been put in place first.

This time of year and the messages associated with this season reminds me that we cannot do anything for ourselves without first looking beyond ourselves. Conversations about virtue are rarely held outside the home because too many people are afraid to have that conversation, or simply don’t know how to start one. For me, the start of any conversation such as this, is what am I called to do about something?

The three Great Virtues are called Faith, Hope, and Charity, and each one is a call to action. People in business use a lot of action based phrases; to the point, it is often a catchphrase. For Christians these words are much more than a simple call to action, and yet, each of these words speaks to anyone who wants to make things better, and once understood in that context, the obligation to act becomes clear. 

Having the belief that you can effect positive change is a universal trait. Holding to the expectation that you will succeed, and being able to act with unselfish motives are also universal.

Two phrases also make an appearance at this time of year; Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men. I see these words as an expression of the four Cardinal Virtues written about with great eloquence by philosophers such as Plato and Cicero. 

It was Cicero who wrote….” Virtue may be defined as a habit of mind (animi) in harmony with reason and the order of nature. It has four parts: wisdom (prudentiam), justice, courage, temperance.” 

As we all enter this new year 2020, I invite those who read my letter each month to dedicate yourselves to a new level of action, a higher level of commitment, and the promise to yourself that small steps matter as much as the larger steps.

As noted in several recent letters, I again invite you to join me next Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at Gallery Furniture at their North Freeway (I-45) address for the 37th Annual Economic Forecast hosted by the Services Cooperative Association

SCA is a co-operative comprised of business owners that have a mission, a purpose that hasn’t varied in 36 years. Through its processes, it assists business owners in Market Expansion, Business Development, Entrepreneurial and Intrapreneurial Education and Professional Growth. It is a set of processes that has led numerous companies to succeed where they might otherwise have failed.