Sunday, December 30, 2012
Rays of hope
Here we are at the end of another year--my sixty-sixth year in fact. That's not a long time to have been around on the planet but looking back at my childhood but comparing it with how things are in the world now I see so many changes. Of course I'm looking back through the hazy lenses of memory at a world that appears sunlit and simple.
When I was a child there was the cold war and the Cuban Missile Crisis and wars in Korea and Viet Nam, not to mention terrible things going on in Africa. But it was a hopeful time and as someone on the leading edge of the baby boom I felt that things were getting better, that we were making some progress. In the "sixties" Civil rights in the USA were being extended to all, we were exploring outer space, the Beatles were singing about love and peace. It seemed we were on the verge of a big shift towards making the world a bright and better place.
I was naive; we were all naive. This was before AIDS, before the Internet, before carbon footprints, before we knew about the dangers of DDT, before globalization, and economic collapse.... Now it all seems so complicated and hopeless. If the planet is a schoolroom for humanity (and I believe it is), we've signed up for some pretty tough courses.
But even though things can look hopeless, there are rays of hope everywhere if we just look. I recently saw a video about people who make their living as garbage recyclers in South America who made their own musical instruments and created an orchestra. Take a look here. These people have truly created beauty out of trash.
So as the new year approaches I'm thinking about what is the best way to look at life in 2013. I know that I can't affect what is happening in Spain or the Middle East, or even what the Harper Government chooses to do. I can't stop people from shopping at Walmart or change gun control laws in the USA. And I don't have to renounce all worldly goods or go on a pilgrimage.
But I can choose a small cause and work to help it, I can contribute some money to an organization that I believe in, and I can speak from my heart to people I meet up with. I can smile at grocery store clerks and cook good food for my family and take time to connect with friends. So my resolution for the new year is to live every day being my very best person I can and finding ways to bring rays of hope and brightness into my small world.