As this year draws to a close, most people living in it will gladly wish it goodbye and take a deep breath that it is finally over. Many countries have wandered hopelessly through a quagmire of changes, all nature of threats, internecine political warfare and an inundation of unbelievable information of all kinds to fill our minds. It would appear from the state of the world and society, that both are destined for destruction.
The end of truth is being predicted, with climatic destruction one of its victims. Scientific evidence is being trashed and conspiracy theories of all kinds are given credence. Moral ethics appear to be no longer respected or thought necessary -there is only the brutal use of power by a new crop of demented leaders who can sway large percentages of the population in many countries.
This is not a new phenomenon, but something that has been slowly created over the past number of decades. During this period, we have witnessed a world spiralling ever so quickly towards destruction. It appears evident that there is no end to how far some people will take humanity towards its oblivion to satisfy their thirst for wealth and power.
The most startling example of this is the United States, the richest country in the world and the supposedly greatest beacon of freedom of all countries. Its rapid descent into moral decay and repression only exemplifies how thin the veneer of its morality and freedom was when a demented president and his lackey political party can dismiss the foundational basis of ethics and moral values that comprises its constitution as unnecessary, even phoney.
Underlying this global phenomenon is the generational transition of baby boomers; a generation who acquired so much, had the greatest freedoms and the least turmoil in all aspects of their lives. Instead of laying the foundation for a better world for their children and grandchildren, many appear willing to trash the whole economic and social infrastructure in order to cling to life and to power.
My own world has been as chaotic as most. Health issues with age appear out of nowhere, my human faculties are less reliable, and unlike machinery, spare parts are not available, albeit scientist have made progress in some areas with medicine and human components that sometimes can help. But with social cuts by governments, even these become less available to those without wealth.
Some of these issues slowed me down at times, as did concerns about my own economic future, as funds have ebbed and flowed and needs around me have grown. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel was so dim it appeared as a mirage. Thus far somehow, I have managed to surprise even myself in continuing what I came here to do and supporting a growing number of people much worse off than I have ever been.
But realize I am not alone, as I hear from family and friends of their health and financial trials and appreciate that thus far, I have been blessed. More positively in my life is the fact that I have two aunts and one uncle still perking in their nineties and another aunt who will be 102 in January. I can only hope that I have been the beneficiary of some of their genes.
Like most everyone, my year had its ups and downs with some successes and some staggering failures like the death of a 6-month-old baby whom I was supporting and had provided health care, but at a distance. Had he been closer its possible I could have made a difference, so that question will always be unanswered.
One thing that I have learned through all of life’s trials, is that hope springs eternal, as long as you stay calm and have patience, often a real challenge for me sometimes sitting at the edge of a cliff looking over.
The world, once we look past the places surrounded by darkness such as the United States and Britain, has its sunnier side. These countries, and a number of others, once beacons of light themselves, are now dimmed by repressive regimes once the purview of more deprived and depraved places.
New and brighter lights are appearing even in smaller and less prominent countries. The most recent in Finland, with a government led by a thirty-five-year-old woman and four other political parties, all with young women leaders. A new beacon and a new standard to light the way into the future.
Then there is the Prime Minister of New Zealand, also a woman, introducing new legislation at a speed that would boggle the mind of most western democracies, bringing in gun control and legislation to address climate change; still hardly being addressed in larger more wealthy countries.
These among others are making a difference and providing food for thought auguring a new beginning and showing the way. They are building new foundations with which to build their countries, issues which have yet to be explored in many developed countries.
On days when darkness appears to surround me and the light at the end of the tunnel is less than a glimmer, I remind myself that it is only an illusion, maybe a delusion, and tell myself to assess my life and count all the blessing that I have been fortunate to receive.
When my aches, pains and afflictions appear to be taking over my body I remember my remaining aunts and uncles and what they have experienced and suffered, yet still living and breathing and bringing joy to their to their families and others – just by being there.
As is my tradition of sharing in this season of giving, I offer you the gift of light to see the hope that springs eternal as the basis of life and the mystery of existence itself. Some things are meant to be known and many are supposed to be discovered to encourage us to keep exploring and learning.
This gift can be passed on and shared with others in any fashion that you choose. I witness the effects every day in all the little things that I do that brighten a person’s life, if even for the moment. When I have doubts, as I often do, about what I am doing, I am blessed with the presence of a number of two or three year old angels and some older, who remind me with a hug, a cuddle or just a pull on my leg to let me know they are there.
They are the next generation who will continue to keep life eternal in whatever they do. Hopefully, they will remember the kindness and care extended to them by a person strange to them.
More importantly, sanity must return to our society if they are even going to have an opportunity to live their lives into old age. It astounds me how people can vote for those whom they know will take away most of the rights and freedoms for which other generation have fought and died.
We begin this holiday season with some trepidation and celebrate a birth at another time when the world was in turmoil and hope was required to bring a sense of peace to the it. Know that life and the world will unfold as they will through the stress, strain and folly of human weakness and strength and mysteriously right themselves at some point in time.
This current turmoil, like all others, will be stories to tell and lessons to share of what used to be. Every generation has its follies and apparently ours, which has lived through some of the best times in the history of humanity, is having its turn now with the disasters being created in the world. Only this time, it will be left to the next generation to clean up the mess, if indeed there is anything left.
Merry Christmas and a happy, thoughtful new year to you no matter where you live, and remember, it’s the little things in life that make a difference. What is most important to understand is the fact that we all belong to one family, the human family, no matter our differences, beliefs or biases; a family unique in the world. Love overcomes hate, if we only open our hearts without fear to the love that abounds all around us.
Written William (Bill) Pardy
December 17, 2019