Vol. 8    No. 26
DECEMBER 26, 2013

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000

Subscription Information:
The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
($45 a year)
Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000


Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White

Heidi M. Pascual
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                               Looking Ahead
In just a couple of days, 2013 will come to a close. Like most other small businesses, especially minority-
owned, The Capital City Hues experienced its share of economic challenges as some advertisers went in a
new direction and other advertising opportunities presented themselves. While the economic recovery
continues for many, for many communities of color, the recession still has a tight grasp on their economic

But no matter what condition my condition might be in, there are always others who have it worse. Federal
extended unemployment benefits just ran out for 1.3 million people in an economy that is still experiencing
at the least a seven percent unemployment rate and that means 14-20 percent unemployment in the
communities of color. Able-bodied people can’t find work and they can’t find it and are punished for that.
There are some forces in our nation who would love to see all of us subsisting on as little as possible so
that they can build their eighth home to keep up with the Joneses. There is plenty of modern-day Scrooges to
go around. God help us all!

And as 2014 draws near, I have been thinking about the resolutions that I need to make and keep realizing
that my past track record for keeping New Years resolutions is pretty weak. But I keep making them
because resolutions made and kept for even a few weeks move the needle in the right direction and any
movement is better than none at all.

One of the most important resolutions that I need to make — and keep — is to become more spiritual. While I
view myself as a spiritual person, I also live a hectic lifestyle in which it seems that there is something that
I have to do every waking moment of the day. And due to the nature of my job, my vision is outward towards
the community and not inward. And so, sometimes that spiritual life within can suffer because of the focus
on the physical world and what is happening now.

But our spiritual life is so important. It helps us weather the storms of life. And it helps us stop from doing
the wrong thing because everyone else is doing it or we can ahead financially or socially. Those moments
that we spend with our God are very important. I am blessed to have friends from many faith communities
including Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Native. I know plenty of agnostics and atheists. Each of us
searches for meaning and spiritual strength in this life and for many of us, in the next life as well.

There is no empirical evidence that any of them have more validity than the others. It is a matter of belief.
And so spirituality and religion are a very personal thing, an expression of individual faith. When people feel
that theirs has more truth than anyone else’s and act on that, that’s when religion leads to bloodshed and
other very unreligious outcomes.

And so within this context, especially as I get older, I want to work on my spirituality, to make it stronger, to
adhere to it more faithfully.

Another resolution that I make and tend to forget by the end of January — if I even begin to adhere to it at all
— is getting physically fit. The other week as I was interviewing Crystal Adell about physical fitness for the
article that begins on this page, she talked about all of the excuses and rationales that people have for not
doing what is good for them, which is to eat properly and get regular exercise. I am the Rationalizer-in-Chief.
I thought she was reading my mind as she checked off the excuses.

I am at the age where the border between good health and bad health is pretty thin and there isn’t much
margin for error. Again, my life’s profession of thinking and looking outwardly sometimes prevents me from
getting a handle on my own life. I realize that I am going to have to look more inwardly at my physical health
if I am going to continue to look outwardly and serve others and practice my life’s profession to the best of
my ability.

In some ways, just as I need a higher power in my spiritual life, I’m thinking that I need a higher power to
help me get in physical shape. I’m thinking on getting a personal trainer to help me shape up or ship out.
With the flurry of activity that I am constantly engaged in, I need that voice and presence to say, ‘Pay
attention to your health.’ Otherwise I will put it off for another day and another day and another day until
suddenly they will be placing my unfit body in the ground prematurely.

And so I have these two resolutions for 2014: to achieve greater spiritual depth and to reduce my “physical
footprint” on this earth. I sure do hope that my personal history doesn’t repeat itself.