For those of you who celebrate Christmas, and even those who don’t, John McCutcheon’s “Christmas In the Trenches” absolutely slays me every year:
It’s an amazing act of narrative songwriting. And more importantly, a critical call for cross-cultural understanding and peace in our time. I don’t believe that a single act of cultural exchange can turn back the machinery of the state, or reverse the fact that, as McCutcheon puts it, “the one who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame.” But I do believe that engaging deeply with culture helps us understand what we have in common and builds curiosity about and appreciation for the things that differentiate us from each other.
So for all of you who are celebrating Christmas this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful, restful holiday. For those of you midway through Hanukkah, may your celebrations be full of light. And for all of us, a hope for peace in the new year.