A Toast to the New Year!

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by John Brian Shannon.

A toast to the new year
A toast to the New Year from the Arabian Gazette team! Image by: iamwaters.com

For many, this is the time of year when we count our blessings and look forward to the new year with expectant hope. For all its pending concerns, 2014 looks to be a year of opportunity and continuing recovery in the western economies.

In 2014, 2/3rds of the Earth’s population will still live on less than the equivalent of $2.00 a day, and many have no better choice available to them than to live in conflicted regions of the world.

The other 1/3 of the planet’s population will continue to live in relative splendour. If you disagree with that sentiment, try living on less than $2.00 per day for one year. (Just one year should convince you.)

Separate from those convicted of horrific crimes, doesn’t all of humanity deserve to live decent and fulfilling lives? Of course we do! Life is not a punishment, life is a gift. And at its best, a life well-lived can be a gift to others.

Likely if those who’ve been convicted of war crimes and other horrible crimes had been raised in safe and nurturing environments by caring people, they wouldn’t have turned to a life of crime in adulthood. This concerns us all. All over the world, future terrorists OR future gifts to humanity — are being born every day.

It’s our choice. How we conduct ourselves and how we direct our governments to act, will determine our collective happiness and security for decades to come.

A major push is needed. Let 2014 be the year of raising the consciousness of humanity to the full realisation that what is good for one human, is good for us all. No longer should 1/3 of the world live in relative luxury and have the opportunity to become highly educated, while the other 2/3rds lead lives of quiet desperation, or worse.

Blaming such people for becoming angry is no longer the solution. We have the technology, we have the education, and we have the means to solve the problems of the bottom 2/3rds of the global population. All we lack as a species is… the collective will to act.

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were a great first step and under the watch of the new Pontiff of the Catholic Church, the Catholics are on a mission to unite people, reaching out to all religions and governments as never before. Some great work is also being done within the religion of Islam and fundamental shifts in thinking are taking place as Imam’s, Mufti’s and political leaders of Islamic countries consider a new paradigm of constructive engagement and dialogue.

The UN along with other NGO’s are doing priceless work all around the world. Work, that more than any spending anywhere, will contribute to our collective security and fortuitously improve the world economy.

Spending trillions on war has proven to not be the answer. Investment in so-called ‘Frontier Economies’ is the answer.

Food, Shelter, Security, Jobs, Education and Health Care, these are the things that 2/3rds of our fellow human beings lack. Not PlayStations, rock concerts or lattes.

As you ease into the new year, take a look around you and count your blessings. Likely, they are many. If not, feel grateful that you are alive — as 8 million died last year (and die every year) of malnutrition and lack of clean water. Ask what part you can play, no matter how tiny. Even if you’re a person of limited resources — ask yourself how you could make your contribution to our shared humanity, to our fellow travelers along for the ride on this blue planet.

A year from now, apart from meeting your responsibilities to yourself, your family and friends, what will you have done to assist people in the bottom two thirds and thereby improve our global conscience and help to assure our collective security?

What could you do in 2014 for those less fortunate than yourself?

If you’ve read this far, you’re already in a position to be an important part of the solution, therefore, make your words count in 2014!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Safe and Prosperous 2014 from the team at Arabian Gazette!

Visit my renewable energy blog at: JBS News

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