Saying Goodbye to 2023

Andre offers reflections on 2023

By: Andre Kotze

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As we near the end of December 2023, it’s hard to ignore the global challenges we face. From ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine to the heightened political divisions in the US, the world continues to navigate through a period of significant strife.

In my line of work I don’t get to work with physical suffering much; however, I frequently encounter mental and emotional suffering. This often seems to be rooted in unfulfilled needs of one kind or another. Joyce Hartpence’s view that busyness can be an act of violence resonates with me. The idea is that when we’re too caught up in work to make time for each other, when exhaustion depletes our empathy, or when we’re giving more than we’re getting, it’s easy to see the harm in our hustle culture.

Although I don’t have strong feelings about Christmas, I do appreciate the seasonal slowdown. It’s a time when, regardless of faith, people come together, strengthening community ties. The combination of Christmas and New Year’s offers a valuable opportunity for family gatherings and fostering friendships.

Scott Peck’s ‘A Different Drum’ speaks to the importance of community as a fundamental tool for change, even on a global scale. For me personally this holiday period is a chance to cultivate deeper relationships and engage in enriching conversations with loved ones.

Looking ahead to the new year, I am excited to continue our work in helping people address their needs through skillful conversation. I look forward to our continued collaboration.

Best regards,