Friday, Dec. 31, 2004
Happy New Year. The phrase rings hollow this year, as we're all still reeling from the fury of Mother Nature that claimed so many lives in Asia. The last report says that the actual death tally may exceed 150,000, and that there may never be a way to make an actual accounting because the magnitude is so staggering.
Perhaps this year we should ask only for a Happier 2005 than 2004, which saw so much grief. Let 2005 bring a peaceful end to the war in Iraq, and brings some comfort to the victims of the quakes and tsunamis in the far east. And if it's possible for anything good to come out of such overwhelming tragedy, then let it be an awakening of the US consciousness that there's a world beyond our borders, a world of people who live and love, people whose lives, no matter where they reside, are as valuable and precious as our own. Let that knowledge awake our international conscience and bring us into a broader awareness of our actions as they impact more than just those within our borders.
Let terrorism die of shame, with former supporters coming to the realization of how reprehensible their actions truly are; let them understand that violence for the sake of violence begets no eternal life. It cheapens all life.
Let there be a cure found for our most insidious diseases - both the physiological ones and the social ones. Let 2004 be the year that the definitive cure surfaces for cancer; and that child abuse and other forms of domestic violence disappear from the planet.
Let us resolve as the human race to regard each other with respect, whether or not we agree; and to find ways of working with each other and with our planet to sustain life now without endangering future generations. Let us never forget that there is a time and a place for everything, but that it is good to strive for peace and good to accept the responsibility for the way we use our planet's resources. That doesn't mean we stop the harvest of those resources, without which we cannot survive; but it does mean that we must learn to manage our environment.
Let us support the arts, for it is the creations of sublime beauty or stark pain that keep us attuned to things beyond the drudgery of everyday life. Let us find a balance in our religions and our moralities that recognize and accept the immense diversity, while realizing that beneath the differences lie a fundamental sameness.
Let us respect and appreciate the workers on whose labors we survive, whether they be farmers who grow our meals or the seamstresses who sew our clothing.
And let freedom ring around the world, in whatever form it takes - whether or not we agree with the political veneer it assumes.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )