After two years impacted by COVID-19 and its affect on our economy and our spirits, 2023 offered us an opportunity for optimism and enthusiasm. Falsely.
I am very much an optimistic person, and very much inclined to see progress. I feel that I am becoming a better person all the time (would that I should live so long to actually be a decent person) and I see my children starting off as much better balanced people than I am with much better attitudes towards diversity. ￼ They don't have to spend a lot of time overcoming the prejudices that I and most people of my generation started my life with.
But I am afraid that my optimism has been greatly damaged and I must say the year 2023 is the culprit.
If I thought that society was becoming more respectful of diversity and less hateful of "the other" 2023 has given me much evidence to the contrary.
If I thought that world politics was actually beginning to be governed by morality, and a sense of the importance of human life, 2023 has given me clear evidence to the contrary, as we end, not only with the war in Ukraine, which has seen many Russian atrocities, but a devastating war in the middle east. Obviously the life of innocent children and adults is significantly less important than political goals and ideologies.
Our world political institutions appear impotent, unable to end senseless killing and unable to work effectively towards resolving obvious environmental issues.
American politics has become totally disheartening as small minded individuals pursue loud divisive policies, and rouse their respective bases to donate multi millions of dollars to election campaigns, so that they can be reelected to raise even more funds for their next election campaign. Morality seems to be missing amongst the many voices who clamber for book banning and reduction of rights of various individuals. With the money raised in American politics, you can only conclude that every member of Congress has been properly bought and paid for. But if the United States is unable to provide any moral leadership (was it ever?) who do we turn to? Russia with it's criminal invasion of Ukraine.? China with its immense repression of human rights? Europe with its growth of nationalistic and anti-immigrant governments? India and its nationalism?
Perhaps it's best for me to just keep my head down and stay in Harrison Hot Springs with its dysfunctional municipal government.
I am sure that I will wake up tomorrow and welcome 2024 and start off with another large dose of foolish optimism and hope. What else can I do?
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