It’s that time of year. Lists abound. Best of. Worst of. Funniest. Saddest. Who we’ve lost. Then there’s the old Christmas Wish List. An old chestnut, not the roasted kind. Here’s mine in no particular order other than how they fell out of my tangled, dark mind.

1)      World Peace.  Trite, I know.  However that doesn’t lessen it as a goal and wish.

2)      Equal means equal. A basic concept that escapes so many of us. Gender, orientation, gender identity, race, creed or anything else. All people deserve the respect to have the same rights as anyone else. They are RIGHTS and are not something dependent on polls or tradition. Rights are inherent not something granted.  Equal means equal.

3)      A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s labor. This should be reality, not a wish. No hard working person should be on the precipice of hunger or homelessness working full time. Raise the minimum wage.

4)      Education quality should not depend on your Zip Code. Education is a basic human right. A poor education is child abuse.

5)      Healthcare is not a privilege rationed by ability to pay. It is a basic human right.

6)      Government has a duty to care for those who can’t help themselves to a better life. It is a Christian value to extend a helping hand without judgment. Securing the rights of the citizen’s is the highest duty of a fee society.

7)      Hate is not an American value, in spite of our history of embracing it.

8)      A child deserves to live in a loving home. A woman that cannot care for a child should not be forced into motherhood. That is not a function of Government.

9)      People must be allowed to believe as they will. Religious, spiritual or agnostic. There is no place for forcing one’s beliefs on another.

10)   Hope is not an insult. Without hope, there is no path to a better future.

So, there’s my list. Banal as it is. Banality has its place though. Without grace, hope, belief and compassion who are we? Do we strive to be better human beings or do we trample those who have stumbled? Do we extend a helping hand or slap someone with that hand?

Traditionally this is a time of year for reflection on who we are and where we are going. Too often of late we’ve trod the wrong path. A course correction is needed while we still are a basically compassionate people.

I know this list is daunting. Incremental progress is what America is very good at. It may take a while, but we eventually do the right thing.

Let’s at least try.

Happy Holidays to all.