Happy New Year 2005

Peace on Earth. May happiness and prosperity reward our effort, and that of all peoples.

Let us not just observe a moment of silence for those taken in war, civil strife, famine, and the perverse bumper crop of catastrophic man-made and natural disasters. Let us work, in our own way and as it is given to us to do so, for a better world that is manageable in the ways it is given to mankind to manage.

We have but one lifetime. If the political and geographical parcel into which we are born does not happen to work out, it is not given to mankind to drop everything and start over with some different approach. The legacy of one generation does not always become the treasure of resources and wisdom to the next. The benefit of civilization is that it ought to, but so often the legacy becomes a curse and unjust burden born of the ignorance, poverty, indifference and prejudice of those passers of the torch.

Let governments, of whatever political stripe or formative stage, cut equal slack to all of their people. Let our governing bodies and ruling classes deal out equal access to all our citizens. Regardless of circumstance of birth, religion, race, color, creed, or conviction, the law of men is by nature designed for all men and women alike. Consider that the track record and organizational preparedness of our societies are responsible for more mass destruction of human life than all of the natural disasters in written history. Consider that in all these cases, this was made possible by human deceit. The notion that some groups are innately superior to others, is a lie. The notion that demonizing groups of others somehow deprives them of their humanity and birthright, is also a lie. Codifying those lies into human law is intrinsically evil and irrevocably immoral, irrespective of the philosophy or code of conduct used to justify it.

Eschew evil. If that sounds too complicated, may we all just attend to improving our own lives and drop the pretense that we must “reform” others as a precondition to justifying our own invidious existences: “you first”. When in doubt, remember the Li’l Abner postulate [Al Capp]: “Good is better than evil, ’cause it’s nicer”.

Lastly, civilization becomes a busier commitment with every passing generation. Part of that is good, because, along with the plastic and trash food and mindless entertainment pastimes, has come the potential for enormous real productivity on a scale the world never dreamed. The reward should be happiness and prosperity, not merely access to even more opportunities to contribute to the ant city. Deliberately set aside time to spend with family, with friends, to read a book, or even to walk in the quiet meadow. When it is all said and done, those are the only times we’ll have to cherish in our reflective years.

Happy New Year.

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