Guest Op-ed: This Is the Time of the Year to Reflect on Where We Are

By Mayor Brian Arrigo

It often seems as if the holiday season arrives abruptly, with an onslaught of shopping, visiting, and celebrating.  But, in reality, it only seems that way.  The Christmas season arrives just as scheduled on the calendar—it is our own sense of timing and planning that is rushed.

So one of the great pleasures at this time of the year has nothing to do with all the rushing and revelry.    In fact, it is the opposite:  instead of rushing and revelry, it’s a time of reflection. 

As another year approaches its end, it is important to consider the paths we followed to get here.  The year begins with high hopes and plans.  We consider January as the month of renewal, of stepping off anew.  Come December, well, it’s a chance to revisit the milestones of the months now behind us.

Inevitably, there is loss.  So as we now reflect on those whom we lost during 2019, we pray that they rest in peace, and that their families and friends find solace in calm haven of memory.

There are challenges undertaken, some successfully, and others not.  As we reflect on those as they shaped our individual 2019 calendars, let us take lessons from both our successes and our failures, and apply those lessons to the challenges we will undertake in the months and years to come.

There is an appreciation for others.   As we reflect on the people who entered our personal journeys during the year, let us remember that we are all just doing our best, and we are all the products of all that imbues our individual lives with character and personality.  May we release our grip on anger or resentment, and hold close to feelings of compassion and friendship.

There is gratitude.  Let’s not undervalue the simple accomplishment of making it through the year!  Everyone rides a yearlong roller-coaster of responsibility, frustration, hurt, perhaps illness, and—hopefully—some degree of recreation and fun.  Through it all, we carry on.  Let us never take for granted the “carrying on” part of life—it is the very essence of our existence, so let us be full of gratitude.

There is a sense of charity.  While need always continues in our midst, it is the holiday season that most often stirs our sense of generosity and willingness to help.  Let us appreciate the power of charity, for it betters the life of others, and it betters our own lives at the same time.  And let us carry that sense of charity and abide it for all of 2020.

There is a sense of togetherness.  The holiday season tends to heal the bruises and slights of the past months.  Friendship and unity are the common message.  Let us heed this message and take it with us into the New Year.  When we act as one, and work together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

City Hall is empty as I sit tonight, for the fourth year, in the quiet of Mayor’s office.  Traffic on Broadway is brisk as people go about their business.  Like every one of you, I reflect on the people who have meant so much to me in my life:  my wife Daveen, our children Joseph and Jack, my mom Paula, and I realize the sacrifice that each of them make as I devote my energy to the City of Revere. 

As I reflect on our City of Revere, and the honored responsibility that has been bestowed to me as its Mayor.  To all, I express my most sincere wishes for health and well being during the holiday season, and that it continue throughout the coming year.  This year ends, and a new one is about to begin, and I pledge my unwavering commitment to serve our City and its best interests. 

Brian Arrigo is the Mayor of the City of Revere.

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