Our Annual Christmas Letter: M

This year, as the national forces of ignorance and authoritarianism mobilize, the folks here at portfoliolongo.com would like the letter M to tell our story. It’s a relatively simple story, not unlike the stories encapsulated over the last 6 years in our previous Christmas letters. It’s a story of some irony, much hope, and absolute impermanence – best summarized in a saying so popular that even President Abraham Lincoln used it in a speech at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1859: “And this, too, shall pass.” (See the excerpt and citation below.)

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! — how consoling in the depths of affliction! “And this, too, shall pass away.” And yet let us hope it is not quite true. Let us hope, rather, that by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social, and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.” (Click here for the full speech.)

Step Right Up

I reversed the order of the lines in this quote from theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr to dramatize the crescendo of his interpretation and the structure of the effort implied. Please click here to see the quote in its original sequence.

step right up