Our world that we have inherited is a beautiful place. Nature, in its abundance has bestowed on us numerous blessings. The people in our lives, the opportunities that come on our way to learn, to grow, to flourish, and to share, are all miracles that we enjoy and cherish every day of our lives.
However, our world has its own challenges. We are witnesses to hatred, wars, violence, divisions, epidemics, uncertainties, natural calamities, injustices, discriminations, and fear. Our faith in humanity can sometimes be overshadowed by doubt, despair and a sense of defeat.
The ongoing wars around the world between nations, religious, ethnic, and ideological groups, threats to human existence by terrorist groups and piling up of nuclear and biological weapons, as well as through the mindless destruction of the resources of the planet earth, have made us lose hope in ourselves and the world.
For nearly seven decades since the end of the Second World War, the United States played a key leadership role for the world. It’s interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other parts of the world, including efforts to thwart communist insurgencies, dictatorships and other threats to peace, were aimed at sustaining a balanced world order.
Taking office in 2009, newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama lost no time in spelling out his new vision for America’s role in the world. “Leading from behind” was to become America’s new role on the world stage. A decade after this new approach, leading to many actions or inaction, had its consequences.
There are dozens of hotspots around the world that calls for immediate attention and action. The Middle East remains a seething cauldron of unrest and instability. Years of painstaking negotiations between Israel and Palestine has not produced a breakthrough, resulting in an ongoing war in Gaza that has caused the death and destruction of lives of thousands across the borders.
Despite more than a decade of warfare and more than a trillion dollars spent, Iraq is disintegrating into civil war. Afghanistan is still a hotspot with uncertainty over government formation years after the elections. Threats from Al-Qaeda affiliates around the world have posed constant threat to the safety of the world.
China continues o flex its muscles with almost all the nations on its borders, including with Japan, Taiwan, India and Tibet, contributing to unrest and tensions among the nations of the world. After Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used poison gas to kill hundreds of Syrian civilians, a clear violation of international law, and having no consequence has emboldened him and Assad continues to slaughter and displace hundreds of innocent civilians. Half a Million people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria’s continuing civil war, and the world seems powerless to stop the carnage.
Wars and sectarian violence in Yemen, Sudan, Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, and parts of Central American nations continue to cause the deaths of thousands of people every year. Terrorism has become a real threat to the entire humanity, with the brutal murder of innocent people.
Russia does not seem to help build peace in the world. It brazenly fomented discontent and among the majority Russian-leaning citizens of the Ukrainian province of Crimea, then simply annexed the region. Human right violations and interfering in the democratic processes of free nations around the world, including the United States, have been dealt with muteness.
Stephen Hadley, President George W. Bush’s national security adviser, stated that it would be harder to recover from this cold war era tactics than in the past because Bladimir Putin is effectively rejecting the international order established after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”If Not a Cold War, a Return to a Chilly Rivalry,” he was said.
Natural calamities around the globe, in response to man-made global warming, and short-sighted and narrow vision for political gains by leaders around the world, have become a common feature killing tens of thousands of people every year, and causing destruction of places, properties and nature itself, in hundreds of Billion Dollars every year.
The mindset of millions of people to radicalism, racism, and violence is a major threat to the whole world and its continuance of the current civilization. We are often not concerned because these tragedies are often not occurring in places and people closer to us. Many of us seem to be unconcerned about these threats until they come our way. And they continue to happen, and soon all of us will be consumed by these violent forces that have become a threat to humanity.
“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it,” stated Albert Einstein decades ago. Looking around us we have every reason to be concerned that the world we live in has become more dangerous to the current generation than it ever has been. The advancement in technology, innovations, more open and broad minded society of the 21st century have not ushered us into a safer world. No, it has exposed humanity and the entire world to more dangers than ever been before.
The policies and programs of Donald Trump, President of the US, allegedly delivering for a faithful base of supporters who voted for him as the ultimate anti-globalism, abdicating America’s responsibilities as the world leader, and leading to trade war between nations, anti-Islamist and anti-Immigrant policies, deregulation of environmental and monetary policies that were created to safeguard the nature and common man, have pushed the US and the world to the brink of destruction.
However, there is hope in the midst of all these. Initiatives of small and large by individuals, groups and nations give us hope for a better world. Technological advances that help fight diseases, protect the earth, and keep the peoples around the world connected with one another instantly through the social media give rise to hope.
I have personally met and been enriched by the examples of several individuals and small groups who have made it a commitment to share their riches, resources, skills, talents, time, and their lives to bring hope in this hopeless world.
The beginning of the New Year 2019 is a perfect time to take stock of our lives. It may be helpful at this time to reflect on the achievements of the past year, congratulating ourselves for both personal growth and goals met, and setting our agendas for the New Year.
It’s the time to make or re-evaluate our own hopes and dreams for the year, thus providing a basis to guide our year. Creating a plan for our year and something to strive for enables us to become more and more successful in our own lives.
As we celebrate Christmas, the festival of peace, joy, and love, we dedicate this issue to those who continue to bring hope and peace, making a positive changes in the lives of people, for the greater good of humanity, to make our world a better place than the one we inherited, and to give our children and for generations a better future.
Merry Christmas And A Bright, Healthy, Joy-filled, And Prosperous New Year To All.
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