I can't skate very well, at least by Canadian standards, so I think I'm more groping and staggering towards something this coming year. It is the relationship between democracy and empathy -- the idea, actually at least as old as Adam Smith, that we can't feel an obligation to another unless and until we see that person as vulnerable, as open to ourselves to pain and suffering. This seeing in turn requires a special capacity of the mind: moral imagination.
Philosophers have long believed that cultivating the moral imagination is best done through instruction and argument, but I wonder. My own personal experience suggests that narrative fiction, in all its forms (novels, plays, films, even good television) is where this actually happens -- where we take up the position of another and, as it were, share in that person's 'lover's argument with the world', to quote Robert Frost's epitaph.