My Christmas wish for you: despite the frantic pace and anxiety the season of peace brings, I hope you can take 5 minutes to reflect on how far you've come, and embrace the moments of peace you can hopefully find now, and renew your hope for the coming decade.
The past decade flew by. I was just getting used to it and it's gone already. Having seen a decade or two (ahem), I think this past one has offered the worst of times and yet the best of times. At least in my memory.
I just read somewhere that this decade has had fewer natural disasters than the previous one, for instance. Hard to believe calling to mind the tragic tsunamis, devastating earthquakes, horrific hurricanes that drowned and demolished major cities. Not to mention worldwide terrorist attacks and ongoing genocides. For Pete's sake, we've been at war for 8 years of the decade now with no end in sight. Not uplifting events.
But what is uplifting is that this nation has actually elected a black man as President. I was a young child growing up in the 50's. In my lifetime African Americans couldn't use the same bathrooms as whites, the Ku Klux Klan still killed blacks and the whites who supported them with impunity, and basic human rights were intentionally denied to so many.
So Obama's election is a major step forward in recognizing and honoring the uniqueness and basic equality of humankind. Don't unfurl the banner that says "Mission Accomplished" yet because the road ahead for human rights is still long. But this was a major victory for us all, no matter what kind of president he is. I think he will be a good one in that arena as well.
As King Arthur said, this was "one brief shining moment" during a decade when so much hatred was exposed in the name of radical religious fanatics. But, oh, how that moment shines.
But that is not the only thing to cheer about from this past decade. Science and technology gave us wonderful and affordable tools to the common man or woman. Almost any of us can experience and participate in art, photography, music and communication in ways no one could even imagined ten years ago. It makes our lives so much richer! I know the world has become much smaller and my network of fellow travelers/friends on this journey is now worldwide and growing thanks to the miracle of the Internet. Thanks Al Gore! :-)
What can we expect and hope for in the next decade? It looks like we'll make major medical advances because of projects like the Human Genome research will begin to yield results. Will we finally see the end of cancer as we know it now? I think this would be humankind's next great accomplishment. We all know someone who is suffering from cancer or has shuffled off our globe at an early age from the deadly killer. We need to pop open a can of whoop-ass on that bad boy. Also, a little prayer might help as well.
Now for Something Completely Different
In the most bizarre of throwdowns, we've found this wonderful little video on YouTube. It's the classic battle of evil vs. good in a mashup of everyone's favorite rogue agent vs the Jolly Old Elf, himself. Can you guess who wins?
Happy New Year!