This rough-and-tumble, donnybrook of a year has reached its end! And not a moment too soon for most of us. The year 2016 will be remembered by many as one of hostility, aggression, the ascendancy of us-against-them mentality, the triumph of bully tactics, flagrant dishonesty, and as floating a boatload of gossip. The general attitude has been mean-spirited and vindictive. And, as mentioned above, one of deep and pervasive dishonesty. No wonder we’re tired.
So, how do we proceed? The year ahead looks grim for most of our troubled planet. As we move away from what will most likely be the hottest year on record world-wide, from a year immersed in the horrendous suffering of immigrants and war victims, and a year of idiotic, narcissistic denial of our planet’s countless problems, we have a decision to make. A decision of such importance that, if made incorrectly, will lead to suffering on a scale beyond any world war. A decision with such momentum that once started it won’t stop. A decision that will affect everyone and everything around us.
We can choose to be angry, vindictive, and to lash out at those who we believe support the mean-spirited direction of our world. After all, didn’t ‘they’ get us here? We can choose to respond in kind with lies, gossip, and threats – after all, isn’t that how ‘they’ act? We can choose to shut down compassion and replace it with indifference. We can choose to wall ourselves off from the rest of humanity and let ‘them’ deal with their own problems. Who cares if they are victims of war? Who cares if they are fleeing violence, corruption, and hopelessness? This is our country!
Or, we can choose to be kind. We can respond to insults with compassion, to lies with honesty, to violence with amity, and to environmental harm with hard work and peaceful demonstration. We can walk away from gossip and, instead, spread truth. We can welcome the immigrant with open arms and a good job. We can hold ourselves to a higher standard than we see practiced by our imminent leaders.
The choice is pretty simple, really. We can treat our world and all beings as we want to be treated, or we can take the easy way out.
Be a rebel, be defiant: choose love.