The New Born of whom I speak is the year 2016 and this is its first day. The sound today is one of stillness after all that celebrating in the first minutes of its arrival. I sat on my sofa and watched as it arrived in many parts of the world. As usual people were very animated. It brought together massive crowds to welcome the new comer with hope for general improvement, but the fact is that no-one can know what 2016 will bring. For so many 2015 brought misery and suffering, and death. I don't think any of the people who so cheerfully welcomed 2015 had that in mind.
New Year celebrations are all about that fundamental spirit in humans whereby hope springs eternal. Everytime I buy another lottery ticket the same thought goes through my mind. Should I one day win 100 million euros that may just about cover all the money I have spent on buying lottery chances.
Of course, New Years in Dubai took centre stage, as it usually does for the most elaborate and costly firework display. This year, unwittingly there was added a real life disaster in the form of a massive hotel fire that burned in the shadow of all the fireworks. Thankfully, it appears that there was no loss of life reported the last time I checked. One of the most interesting decisions had to be made as to whether to go ahead with the planned event. A firework show that runs for 25 minutes would bear a truly frightening cost, so with everything in place, to cancel at the last minute would have been even more of a challenging thing to do than to go ahead.
I suppose there is room for both optimists and pessimists at midnight to choose whether they are celebrating, just because, or because they are celebrating whatever the previous year meant to them. My family and I have a lot to be thankful for that 2015 gave to us. We did not lose anyone from the family during 2015, so that alone is worth cheering and being thankful for. So many families had to live with tragedy, including that mass of people who moved from Africa and the Middle East into Europe, or tried to do so. We are told that more than 3,000 people lost their lives in the Great Migration, but really, no one can know for sure.
We were treated to news footage, day after day of such desperate human suffering that if you were not touched you simply are not a human being. One man actually told me that he simply did not care. That statement sticks in my mind and has coloured my thinking of him.
This New Year will likely bring a worse season of people running for their lives because one man insists on holding on to power. We have been promised that the next decade will continue to bring us change, but that the volume of change will accelerate to dizzing speed, so we can reasonably assume that we will see some amazing new technologies over this year, and beyond.
I have to mention that just as important is hope, so is it important to expect disappointments from time to time. My hero is/was Bill Cosby, but he has been arrested and charged with the commission of a sexual offence, and it is also alleged that he improperly treated as many as 50 women in the same way. Say it isn't so! I cannot make any suggestion as to how this may turn out for Bill, one of the (previous) most respected men in America, whose accomplishments raised up the entire black community. I can certainly say thank you to him for having so carefully crafted his career that it achieved that end. However, this is not the ending I would have scripted.
Hope! Trust! I hope and trust that 2016 will bring good health, first and foremost to all readers, together with prosperity in both economic and social terms. If we can all do our part to solve the problems of the world, then perhaps we will have all done a lot.
I also hope that we can all meet back here in one year's time.
Copyright (c) 2016