My great friend Dean Tom Campbell recently published in the Orange County Register the following quote that I pass along to you: “Most offenses taken are not intended.” This hit me hard because I have always somehow inferred this, but had never seen it put into words. And what a thought that will help us to live our lives more fully. Then the next day, Christmas, the Register also published the following in an editorial: “The truly valuable things of this life are not found in power and riches but in our relationships – in our capacity to cherish our families, love our neighbors, stretch out a helping hand to those less fortunate and seek reconciliation with those who would be our enemies.”

Following up on both of those quotes, with the fall of the former Soviet Union, it was fully documented that the great composer Peter Tchaikovsky actually committed suicide at the age of 53 to avoid publicizing that he was gay. And this act wasn’t done to protect his good name, it was instead to protect the “good name” of his former university. Can you simply imagine how deprived the world has been by not embracing him even for his perceived frailties (that all of us share in some form)? Look at what society lost not only in unnecessarily shortening his life, but also in the additional brilliant compositions that he would have created for us! Pope Francis preached this past Christmas Day that “God does not love you because you think and act the right way. You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you.” Just like with the commonalities of the world’s religions and philosophies that are highlighted at www.Pro-JectUnderstanding.com, we human beings have so much in common that we should embrace each other more. So as we are now beginning a New Year, let us all strive to exercise our Liberty and learn both not to take offense so quickly at things that other people say and do, but also to embrace each other more fully. That is – or should be – what life is about. Happy New Year!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

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