Looking Back

The year is nearly over. This is the time when many of us look back on the year for various reasons. I was reviewing the news of 2014 on Wikipedia and found some things that were worthy of comment.

There were troubles: Terrorists were once again about their grisly business. Perhaps some of them have legitimate issues. Some of them are strictly in it for the power, no matter what religious trappings they hang on it. God certainly has an agenda, suicide bombers do not support it.

Of course, we opposed the terrorists—bombing in Iraq and Syria, among other things. While I believe that people are inherently good, sometimes people who are victims of wrong thinking do terrible things. We all have a right to live and to protect that life from those who would take it.

However, we must guard against taking up the tactics of our enemies or they have already won. I am referring here to the revelation of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on our prisoners. The fact that agents of “The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” tortured people is disturbing enough. However, those who defended this practice said some even more disturbing things, like: “We had the courage to do what needed to be done.” That is the kind of thinking typical of tyrants since the beginning of time. Vigilance is the price of liberty. Pay attention people.

Islamic terrorists are not the only bullies we have to deal with. The Russians decided to expand their borders. It was nice of them to wait until the Olympics were over. Now that their economy is in trouble we don’t hear much about Russian aggression. Clearly some at the top of the Russian government have given in to wrong thinking.

Then there were other troubles like the reappearance of polio, the Ebola breakout and the ever-present flu. Also, evidence for climate change continues to pile up. These are excellent examples of challenges we might overcome if we can quit killing each other.

Other incidents worthy of note include:

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates because the Laureates boycotted when the South African government would not let the Dalai Lama into the country—allegedly due to pressure from the Chinese. Really, South Africa. Shame on you.

We had an election—the Republicans won. Voter turnout was low. That is an embarrassment. I think voter apathy comes from people being sick of the shenanigans pulled by politicians on both sides of the isle. To those who think it doesn’t matter who wins I say “Change it.” Get involved—vote, at the very least.

President Obama opened relations with Cuba and of course was criticized for it. So, what do the critics want? Something doesn’t work for 50 years so we should just keep doing it? Nixon opens relations with China and they’re still bragging about it. While I still believe people are inherently good, hypocrisy is wrong thinking. Wise up people.

I could go on about people who died, natural disasters and other troubles. 2014 was a year like any other. But, were there any good things? Of course.

I feel gratitude that the Ebola outbreak did not spread accross the US—selfish I know, but I live here. I am grateful that the economy is better. I am grateful that gas prices are lower. December was a very warm month here in Minnesota—grateful again. I got to watch a live-action movie with a talking raccoon. What could be better than that? My book, “In Pursuit of Joy” came out in paperback and my second book, “The Mindful Lifestyle” is nearing the end of the publication process. Hurray!!!!

Babies were born to people who loved them. People fell in love and got married. After a long, cold winter spring came. There are literally millions of good things to be grateful for in this Universe to feel grateful for if you just stop and look. 2014 was a good year and 2015 will be even better.


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