New Year, New Hope

As the New Year arrives, I can’t help but look back and reflect on the year that has past. 2008 was marred by the continuing housing crisis in the United States, and also the beginning of the Global Financial Meltdown that has hurt so many people worldwide. It was also marked with the deaths of some of entertainment’s more well known, including George Carlin, Michael Crichton, Paul Newman, Don LaFontaine, Isaac Hayes, Bernie Mac, Tim Russert, Charlton Heston and Heath Ledger. It was also marked by the last leg of a long and historic election that ended in what, for many, was the only glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow.

But as we look back, one also must look at it all and see that as bad as it was, we survived it. All of us here made it through. Though analysts and others, including President-Elect Barrack Obama, say that the financial crisis will not be solved or begin to seem solved until close to the end of this new year, and the continuing war in Iraq, and the recent violence between Israel and Palestine, why look forward to 2009 at all?

2009 is the Beginning. It can be the beginning of a better future. We may not see this better future during the course of the year, or only catch glimpses of what’s to come, but it is our foundation. That’s something to be excited about. There’s realization among the people that we must stand together as human beings, not just Americans, or Australians, or Japanese, or Germans, or Mexicans, or Indians. Not just Christians or Muslims or Jews, or Athiests. We must Come together as one people, united, or face the fate of our ancestors and watch our civilizations crumble under the weight of war, corruption, division, and self-sabotage.

2009 will be the new beginning, when diplomacy, not aggression, serves as our primary ally when dealing with other countries. When world leaders realize that these petty rivalries must be overcome if we are to overcome the plight that we are in and secure the prosperity of all nations on this planet. I for one have hope that this year will bring forth much of what is needed begin the shift in this direction. I believe this will be our year. This will be the year that we not only talk about making a difference, but help be the difference.