I decided to wait until this morning to really look at this new 2013 with a clear sober head and fresh focused eyes. I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed; everything looks pretty much like it did yesterday. Yes, we survived the end of the Mayan calendar, rampant predictions of apocalypse, and our evil self-destructive technology, but to what avail? Is civilized humanity a success?
We recently learned from our “free press” that it is not only okay to hate, but intellectually astute to be a bigot, as long as the basis for your prejudice is wealth or an opposing political philosophy. In defiance of popular demand and the instructive events unfolding in Europe, our spending-addicted employees in Washington DC have piloted the national economic vehicle, a la Thelma and Louise, right off the fiscal cliff. They have saddled us with an unsustainable debt while fostering our insatiable desire to “get something free” from them. There are still people in this world killing other people in the name of their God, children going to sleep hungry while rulers hoard the spoils of leadership, and such pervasive disrespect for life and civility that entire sectors of population hide behind the curtain of drugs, violence and crime. In the name of progress and inclusion, we continue to de-construct the foundations of society by declaring that any “rule” based on “morality” is outdated, unneeded, and blatantly unfair to expect people to follow. Yes, 2013 is a new year with some old problems.
This is the time of year when we resolve to self-improve; lose weight, quit some vice, or get healthier. We vow to inflect self-change in some innocuous way that next week when we have abandoned our plan, no one will be harmed and the only disappointment will be the need for repetition in 365 days. What is your resolution? Yes, I am disappointed. All of those things listed above are just too big to change. After all, I am just me, and you are only you. How can we expect to change the world?
Confucius (or was it Lao-Tsu?) said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” First of all, I wasn’t aware that the Chinese in the 5th century BC even knew what a mile was. Secondly, wisdom always sounds smarter when we quote a dead guy, especially a philosopher. And lastly, the world didn’t get into the shape it is instantaneously; it evolved very slowly, a single step at a time.
I know there is a great inertia dragging our society, our cultures, our traditions, and our morals further in this direction, and I don’t know about you, but I think I am going to try to take a step the other way. I can’t resolve to fix the whole world, but if I don’t try, I will be disappointed. It is like my old argument about religion. If I live my life in Faith and we get to the end only to discover I was wrong, I won’t be disappointed that I lived my life morally; no harm done. But if we get to the end and discover I was right…? Where will you be? Will it still be “no harm done”? I’m going to take a step and see where it leads.