Here we are, on the threshold of a new year. What do we have to look for? What good and not-so-good things or events can we expect?
Two things come to mind immediately. First, thank God it’s not an election year. 2012 must have been the ugliest campaign in history. Nevada, being a “battleground” state forced us to watch the most negative and demeaning ads on television ad nauseam.
Secondly, we don’t have a scenario that keeps us waiting until the end of the year to see the end of the world.
Things I hope we can look forward to begin with the economy. I hope it will continue to improve, but at a faster rate. I hope all those who want jobs will be able to get a good job, one with sufficient income and benefits to adequately support themselves and their families.
God willing, we will have less severe storms, and less destruction to property, and no loss of life. I want to see America rise to the top of the charts in education, and at the bottom in gun sales. I hope that time passed will allow everyone to feel safe going to a movie, and feel secure about sending their children off to school once again. Because it’s the sensible and right thing to do, I hope all states legalize same-sex marriage, and help end homophobia. I pray for an end to racism, bigotry, prejudice, and hatred.
What we must see, what we must witness, is our government acting like grown-ups instead of selfish children. Republicans and Democrats alike must make government work. Forget personal feelings and ambitions and simply get the job done. What would our country be like if congress received a 70% favorable rating vs. the 10% they now have?
2013 has to be a better year. I know, we say that every year, but it really has to be. I believe the United States can once again be great, but it has to start with its people. Americans must cherish the spirit upon which our country was founded. Respect for each other must be restored. The rich are no better than the poor. Those that were fortunate enough to receive an excellent education are no better than a person who was forced to drop out of high school to support themselves or their family. Those of us who were lucky enough to have born in this country are no better than those who worked hard to immigrate and pass the citizenship test, (which, by the way, most natural born citizens would be unable to pass). A Christian is no better than a Jew. A Mormon is no better than a follower of Islam. Religion is personal and a free choice, and should remain so. And someone who chooses not to be religious is not a heathen.
Respect, tolerance, freedom, kindness, empathy, understanding, generosity, these are qualities that were instilled in me by my mother and grandparents who raised me. They are important, more important than owning a Lexus, or a six bedroom house in the “right neighborhood“. The quality and dignity of a nation’s population is what makes a country great. Too often prosperity is equated with greatness. They are not even in the same dictionary.
I want to see an end to everything that encourages us to hate each other. No more television or hate filled radio personalities belittling everyone who does not believe as they believe. No more misguided ministers screaming from the pulpit that there is only one religion, only one way to think, his way.
I want to see 2013 become the year that congress has the courage to ban lobbyists from Washington. Special interests and their coffers full of gold must not be allowed to run our country any longer.
For 2013. I wish for all of you mostly happy days, good health, and the selfless love of those you love. Dare to dream, and never give up on that dream. If you cease to dream, you cease to hope, and sometimes, even if it’s temporary, all you may have is hope.
Happy New Year!
By James Turage