It is a wonderful time of the year for reflection and to remember what is important – family and friends are at the top of the list. The tragedies the pair of Sandy’s (Sandy Hook’s shooting tragedy and the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy) caused on people, families, friends and homes will hopefully be the tipping points for action to not let this happen in the future on the same order of magnitude. If I had to focus on a few global and national holiday wishes, two that would be high on the list would be doing something to remember those harmed by these tragedies.
So, let me note a few holiday wishes that may impact all of our families:
– First, I hope we heighten the focus on reasonable gun laws in the US which will let us join the rest of the civilized world on appropriate gun governance. The issue goes beyond Sandy Hook and the mass murders that have occurred over the last few years. We have to address the gun deaths that occur every day, especially with 2,694 children and teen gun deaths in 2010, 100x the number who died at Sandy Hook
– Second, I hope the US will begin formal discussions addressing global warming which is upon us and enabled by our human actions and inactions. The President has done some good things but not nearly enough and we need the other political party to join the conversation and stop listening only to their fossil fuel funders. Hurricane Sandy launching off an elevated coastal sea level is the new normal unless we do something about it. This new normal has been predicted for several years, so it should not be a surprise any more.
– Third, I hope the Taliban’s recent actions targeting a young girl on a bus and killing the Polio vaccine workers and patients, will show the Muslim world who the real enemy is and it is in their midst. Until women and girls are afforded rights in these countries, they will forever be competing economically with only half their population. Plus, it is grossly inhumane and unfair to treat women and girls as property.
– Fourth, I hope the Assad regime will step down soon, so no more innocent people are killed and die of starvation in Syria. The latest tragedy had the government bombing people standing in a bread line who had not eaten in a days. I also hope reasonable heads can intervene as the new government is constructed.
– Fifth, I hope economic trade can occur routinely amongst people whose leaders cannot get along. There is something about free trade that can create an economic vitality that can go beyond borders. When people interact in a positive way, then better outcomes can result. Economic sanctions punish the wrong people – the leaders skim off the top and do fine. The rest of their citizens are the ones who are screwed.
– Sixth, I hope the leaders of our country can start acting like leaders and less like little children. We have real problems that require holistic solutions. The failure to act on the fiscal cliff, which people say would be less optimal if it occurred, is actually worse than the cliff. People see an incompetent and grossly negligent body of leaders. I hope the leaders can prove them wrong in this case and come to an agreement. I heard tonight in a CBS Poll that 2/3 of Americans whose income is over $450,000 support a tax increase. So, do CEOs who came together in October. I would suggest Congress listen to these folks and less to Grover Norquist. And, Democrats you better find some cuts you can live with.
– Seventh, poverty is rampant in America. We have people who work hard at several minimum wage jobs or cannot find work. I wish people who are more fortunate can walk in the shoes of others. There are some that have made judgements painting people in poverty with a broad brush based on the observations of a few they may see in the street. The recent recession has imposed poverty on people who had never dreamed it could happen to them. We all need to help those in need climb a ladder out of poverty.
– Eighth, let me close with a wish for people to pursue civil disagreements rather than arguments and insults. I failed to mention this as one of the reasons we have more gun deaths. People perceive an insult and then access a handy weapon and someone is dead. If we choose not to take offense and have civil discourse, then we can avoid senseless deaths. This goes in combination with greater tolerance of people and our differences. The more we understand each other, the fewer disagreements we may have to begin with.
I have many more global and national wishes, but I will limit them to these eight, plus a final one. I wish for all to have an enjoyable holiday season and a safe and content 2013. Take care all. I have treasured your comments in response to my posts and reading your wonderful posts as well. I look forward to more treasures next year.