A Message From Our President – Chris Lee

chris lee

Happy Holidays.
Those two words represent so much. I’m not talking about gifts or family, or food. I’m talking about all the different beliefs humans have regarding religion, culture, and worldviews. Have people adopted the generic “Happy Holidays” to try to be inclusive of all, or is it instead to save themselves from attack by those with different beliefs? 
I’ve asked several only to find that, sadly, the reason is, most often than not, the latter. How do we as a society ask others to respect our beliefs and cultures when we refuse to accept theirs? How do you “fight for inclusion” by demonizing certain groups with dissenting opinions? 
In my opinion, one of this country’s greatest strengths is that, at one point, it truly was a melting pot, accepting many people and cultures for who they are and trying to find common ground as humans. We tried to learn from each other, tried to gain new perspectives and ways of viewing the world, whether ultimately agreeing or not. It grows the brain, improves understanding, and provides common ground for folks who may not have any. 
Unfortunately, in our world today, people seem to be so sure of their own opinions that the mere thought of hearing one that dissents can cause a violent outburst.
I don’t get it. When did we individually become omnipotent? When did society make a conscious decision to stop learning? The worst thing that can happen when we dig into the thoughts and beliefs of others is that we learn something. Read that again. That’s literally the worst thing that can happen. 
My challenge to you for 2023 is to engage with those you think can’t be engaged with. Find common ground with those you see none with…trust me, it’s there! Be open to everything so that you can be the best you can be, and accept that the greatness of humanity lies in its differences, not its similarities.  
-Chris Lee


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