Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Time to Shove 2013 Out the Door

I've heard very few comments from people about their desires to keep 2013 going forever. They seem to be more likely to say it would be wise to move forward.

After looking at a review of huge news stories I can certainly see why. It probably doesn't help that the news media business realizes that strife and conflict sell advertising. We witnessed bombings, floods, fires, typhoons, property and life destruction, continued strife in the Middle East, chemical weapons, and a Congress at home with the lowest ratings in history and no statesmen in sight. Those are only the top seven on my list. Of course, we also saw miracles too: children pulled from the rubble alive, acts of kindness, a royal baby, and a new Pope who seems to resemble the humility of his faith.

And, let me repeat, very few people have told me they
enjoyed this past year and they are ready for 2014.

If I could put in my own two cents' worth, at the risk of sounding like a grumpy senior citizen, I would add that I hope the world becomes a little warmer in 2014. No, I'm not talking about the weather or global warming. When I think about the past year, I remember so many situations where it became obvious to me that both technology and huge corporations are contributing to our lack of humanity and our increase in coldness. Trying to find anyone who will help you with a problem has become almost impossible. No one really seems to care.

Corporations are reaping tremendous profits at human costs. People are laid off because a streamlined company means lots more profit for those at the top. Downsizing leaves remaining employees to pick up the slack in the familiar 24-hour window with no pay increase and a lot less sleep. And if you have a problem with the phone company or the power company or your internet provider or your insurance company, good luck. You are simply one of millions and your problem is not their concern. This is especially true if they have no competition where you live.

Despite the new laws that govern cell phone use while driving, drivers continue to text and have accidents. Restaurants and homes are filled with families sitting around tables using their cell phones rather than having conversations. Go to any public park or
children's play area--like Discovery Depot back home in Illinois--and you will see parents sitting with their cell phones while their children play alone. An opportunity to learn together is once again thwarted. Please, don't get me started on video games and college students.

Oh, yes. Grumpy senior citizen emerges in this post. Time to tuck her away.

Instead, at the end of 2013, I will be grateful for the things over which I have some control that soften the whole first half of this post: children and grandchildren who continue to amaze me in so many ways; friends I have had for over thirty years who have given me gifts beyond imagining; the supportive colleagues with whom I have worked; a small town I love and enjoy returning to after the deep freeze of winter; the warm weather in Arizona that keeps my vitamin D level up;
my last aunt who died recently, joining a whole generation who raised me and is now gone but fondly remembered;
the people who have helped me along the way on this new writing career; the publishing company that said "yes"; and the authors who have inspired and taught me throughout my life.

There. I feel better.

Yes, perspective helps.

Bring on 2014 and may we all help make it a little warmer.

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