April 20, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Time for Thanks, Time for Joy, Time to Look Ahead

jeffhallIt’s that time of year again – the holidays.

It’s a good time to count our blessings – to get a little spiritual, even. Or maybe even a lot spiritual.

Let’s start with our main houses of religion in Brentwood: St. Martin of Tours (Catholic) on Sunset; University Synagogue (Jewish), also on Sunset; and Brentwood Presbyterian Church on San Vicente; there’s another cute little place on Church Lane in Brentwood Glen called Village Church of Westwood (Lutheran).

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of attending services at all these places. At other times I’ve attended or participated in community events held in these facilities’ auditoriums. In each of these places, I have always felt warmly welcomed.

Each institution is led by terrific individuals who do their jobs incredibly well. And each house of worship is supported by dedicated staffs and a small army of volunteers. These are true communities.

Organized religion is less popular with today’s younger set. I’m not so young, and I know I feel like I don’t go nearly enough. Every year I put that on my list of New Year’s Resolutions (“go to church more often”), but then little changes.

We spend plenty of time and money going to the movies; shouldn’t we take a little time now and then to check in with God?

If I am offending any non-religious types, I can assure you, no offense is intended. There are plenty of other ways to recharge one’s spiritual batteries besides going to a church or synagogue.

We can all get out in nature more often – that can be spiritual. Hiking in the canyons above Brentwood is one of those wonderful things that’s close – and free.

Same with the beach! How many of us only go when out-of-town visitors insist? We live minutes away from the ocean, let’s take advantage of that.

We should all encourage young children, that’s a blessed thing to do. We can all reach out to old friends and say hello. Maybe it’s time to clear the decks and make right with those we’ve wronged. We’re all sinners.

Since we live in Brentwood, chances are good we have much for which to be thankful. I am especially thankful for my wonderful wife, my terrific kids and all my many friends who live here in Brentwood – and elsewhere.

Brentwood is a special place, with many talented volunteers who put in time to make our little neighborhood even more special. They deserve our appreciation. Let them know.

I think we should appreciate our local businesses more. Get out on a Saturday and drop in on a bunch of local shops, you will discover many pleasant surprises. Then do it again every few weeks. Things are always changing.

UCLA is an amazing resource, as are The Getty and the Skirball Center. When was the last time you got Downtown just to check it out, have some fun? How about old Hollywood?

There is so much to see and do. And, at certain times of day – especially on weekends – it’s relatively easy to get around. Plus we have our new metro stop at Bundy and Olympic. Have you tried it? It’s fun.

Think positive thoughts. If you think something can be done, chances are, it can be done. It might be hard to do, but anything worthwhile takes effort. Embrace this.

Soon we’ll have a new president. I am cautiously optimistic that Donald Trump is such a wheeler-dealer he’ll go out of his way to forge compromises and make things happen. He wants to see his face on Mount Rushmore one day.

That won’t happen if he alienates everyone. He wants to be loved.

One thing is for sure: Washington will never be quite the same. That’s not all bad.

Let’s make 2017 a great year. See you then!

 

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