I have experienced openness among large corporations, serious challenges in communities and brilliant business models, global networks and technology solutions which in the right combination can solve many of the most pressing global challenges.
Americans intuitively know that it will take a collection of small steps to put the nation and their lives on a better path. There is no quick fix. And yet so many people lack the belief that the nation is even capable of coming together to take those steps.
If places are not implemented with care, and if they leave a sense of the overly artificial and concocted, we may collectively and forever chase The Great Gatsby's symbolic green light at the end of Daisy's pier.
If we fail to go down this road, we can expect more endless debates, gridlock, and cynicism. More false promises. More grandiose pledges for progress. That path is well known, and it is one of lost opportunity and hope.
With all the problems facing African Americans, it is hard to believe the amount of time that is being wasted debating the merits of Quentin Tarantino's hit new "comedy," Django Unchained. What should we be talking about instead?
Last week, as I thought about 2013 resolutions and reflected on the events of 2012, I realized that I am often so consumed with work and bills (the "reason" I have to work) that I neglect the "real" reasons that I have to work -- my family and myself.
This year, may we discover and embrace our own purpose, passion and power. May we accept our responsibility and our personal rule. May we take our ideas and our skills and use them to create a viable, safe, sustainable and sane world for us all.
We do not come to Scripture alone, but do so with the Holy Spirit who helps us discern God's truth and will within. This same Holy Spirit is the Spirit who unites us as God's people, the community that is the Body of Christ.
There are enough real-life struggles of poverty, illness, abuse, so that we need each other in order to create supportive, nurturing communities, not invest in violence or commit ourselves to combative ways of relating.
Homelessness, poverty, recession; you would hope that a New Year would wipe away all of the bad things that have happened to our nation... but it does not. We still wake up in 2013 with the same issues we had in 2012. Is there any hope in sight?