Happy New Year: Love, Peace, and a little bit of Hope

The evening leading up to midnight on New Year’s Eve always seems interminably long. New Year’s Eve is a time of what has been, what might be, and what is likely (or rather, not likely) to change. However, a lot of people are advising us and guiding us and urging us to “reflect and reset,” etc. But really, it is more of the same.

Nevertheless, in the spirit of New Year’s Eve, I will focus on a couple of things that I would wish for more of.

Firstly: People are angry. There have been several murders in the past few days (nothing new), but what I noticed was that on a couple of these terrible occasions, people have been on a short fuse. “Altercations” and “disputes” arise over the smallest, everyday things. A man started an argument over a cell phone, and was shot dead. Another man was stabbed to death because he was talking too much during a card game at a street side gambling spot. Two men died after a completely inexplicable brawl in a fast food drive-through line in uptown Kingston. Who knows what the cause was.

I don’t understand it. Is this outbreak of anger due to too much drink, weed, “molly,” or a combination of all? Is it a sign of serious, unaddressed mental health issues? Certainly, bouts of anger are one symptom of depression and other mental health conditions.

I don’t understand – and all I can do is quote Bob Marley, John Lennon, and countless others: what we need is more love. We could start by taking Will Shakespeare’s advice from “All’s Well That Ends Well”: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” 

Secondly – and this follows on from the first: a little more “peace on Earth” would be nice. We also need to make peace with the Earth, instead of waging war on it. As is often said, peace doesn’t only mean the absence of war; but it would also be good if there could be an absence of any kind of war in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and a number of other countries. Here is a depressing map.

So, quoting the Secretary General of the United Nations:

And what of Hope? I have never been very big on hope. I don’t go overboard on it. Keeping fingers crossed never seems to work for me. Recently, climate activist Greta Thunberg, in her usual blunt manner, said she didn’t want people to “hope” that climate change would get better. She wants us to “panic”! And she is right. It is only a deep sense of urgency that will propel us to take action. In other words:

So that’s it for now. If you haven’t started celebrating yet, I wish you, my dear faithful readers, all the Love, Peace and Hope you could wish for.

And, to coin a phrase: The greatest of these is Love.

Sunset, Negril, at the lovely Sunset at the Palms beach. (My photo)

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year: Love, Peace, and a little bit of Hope

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