Well, 2016 is off and running. As I write this on January 4th, the year is almost exactly 1% over already, and. as you know, years these days don’t last nearly as long as they used to. When I was seven years old, the wait from about September until Christmas seemed almost never-ending. But these days, after New Year, next thing you know it’s Easter, then the Queen’s Birthday, the Melbourne Cup, and you’re back to Christmas again. I was reminded of this a couple of hours ago when a neighbour told me she had just been to the local supermarket, and they already had Hot Cross Buns on sale!!
While there can sometimes be a slightly amusing aspect to the relentless inroads of commercialism into our lives, one can’t help but think about how the endless pursuit of economic growth, new products and greater profits leads inevitably to problems such as social dysfunction, pollution, and climate change.
A few days ago, my daughter Kate wrote this:
Interesting New Year
Sad New Year
Worried New Year
Playful New Year
Ticklish New Year
Frustrating New Year
Devastating New Year
Vigorous New Year
Deliberate New Year
Inspirational New Year
Ecstatic New Year
Patient New Year
Forlorn New Year
Sick New Year
Pensive New Year
Tired New Year
Awkward New Year
Tentative New Year
Silly New Year
Joyful New Year
Healthy New Year
And Happy New Year.
Whatever it brings ….
May we strive to make meaning for ourselves and each other,
May we hear each other’s cries and laughter,
And may that sound of understanding bring us closer.
Makes our easy mouthing of “Happy New Year!” sound rather trite, doesn’t it?
My three and a half days of 2016 have included:
- Reading in the news that on Saturday Saudi Arabia executed 47 people (by public beheading), all accused of terrorism-related crimes.
- Being reminded that my three adult children (all in the vicinity of age 40) have been going around in the world long enough and gathering enough wisdom along the way to be able to teach their (mid-70s) father a few things.
- Being informed that for a few hours early this morning, all the people who looked at this blog came from Albania. I don’t know anyone in Albania, but if any of them read this, I wish them well for 2016.
All this is leading up to quoting something I wrote in the November issue of the Bobby Dazzler Newsletter, and canvassing your feedback.
“We’ve met a number of people recently (including in the US) who say they’ve stopped watching the daily news on TV – it’s just too overwhelmingly sad and grim about what’s happening in the world. Indeed I find myself wondering about whether governing a country (just about any country) in a democratic fashion in today’s world is becoming a more and more difficult task, and whether we’re witnessing a global decline in the state of what we loosely call “civilisation”. Maybe I’m just becoming old and cynical. Please tell me I’m wrong (on at least one of those counts)!”
I wish you well for 2016. I hope it brings you experiences which strengthen you and enrich your life. If you have some thoughts you’d like to share with readers on any of the matters referred to above, please use the comment facility below to tell us. (By the way, you don’t have to use your real name.)