Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hope for a New Year

I end every year exhausted, it seems, and lately I’ve found myself always hoping for a better year than the one that’s gone by.

I’ve had a lot of good things happen to me this year. I got a new job with the college I’ve grown to love over the past two years, and I find that my career as a librarian is starting, slowly, to take off. My wonderful wife and I are happier together then we’ve ever been.

This site has opened doors for me, too. I’ve been lucky. I’ve met with all kinds of fascinating people, from candidates to newspaper and television reporters to the (magnificent) other bloggers in this state, and I’ve been present for history several times.

And yet, I saw so much hate, division and blindness. I still see it, every day, and sometimes I feel like it’s pulling me apart. It seems that what divides us grows deeper and deeper with every year that passes, while the things that unite us lie forgotten. I worry for my country: are we so lost that we’ll never find our way back again?

But, since I sometimes tend to get carried away with my own melancholy, this is a note to myself, and to all of you, to have faith. Yes, we are lost. But we still blunder forward, blind and stupid, and some day we’ll emerge on the other side of whatever this is. History is neither an endless loop, where we pass by ourselves over and over again while going nowhere, nor a straight line from one point to another, but a spiral. There are cycles and patterns that can be discerned, and we do seem to travel in circles, but on each pass we are at a different point than we were before.

Maybe it’s easier to say that nothing is forever. 2006 is over and done—we won’t see it again. So let’s begin 2007 with hope—hope that this year will be better than the last, and faith that we are still moving ever higher, into the unknown.

Happy New Year, everyone. May we all know peace, understanding and joy.


Matt said...

John Edwards, earlier this week (via BlueHampshire, via MyDD):

Today, standing in front of a sign asserting "Tomorrow Starts Today" he stated: "Identifying the problem and talking about hope is waiting for tomorrow.... There's hope, and there's action. I'm action."

cgg said...

2006 was an excellent year for me. I bought a house, got married, joined CTLP, and Democrats took back the house and Senate. I can't complain.

Where you see hate, I see lively debate. For five years there was hardly any. Now we've snapped out of our hyper-patriotic stupor and are ready to engage again. How can that be a bad thing? Win or lose at least we're talking.

Anonymous said...

We need 2007 to be a year of debating issues and allowing viewpoints to be heard on all sides of the spectrum.

I know I can be controversial and Confrontational I will admit it But I believe this helps all of us whether we agree or disagree on the subject matter.

We need to find a way to cut energy costs, find health coverage for all and keep Connecticut out of debt If we accomplish this in 2007 it is a start.

MikeCT said...

Spazeboy has his own 2006 timeline of events. Happy New Year!

ctkeith said...

Spectators always only see Hate.

I saw 100 times more love and hope in the faces and actions of those who were active in politics than any negative emotion and it was true on both sides of the aisle.

My neice worked her heart out for Nancy Johnson and even took a chance and Graduated early from Uconn. She was so good she was promised a job if Johnson won. Even though Johnson lost my neice said working on a campaign was the most exhilerating and fun thing she had ever done and she can't wait for 08.

I visited more DTCs than probably anyone except Dan Malloy and John Destefano over the last two years and plenty of campaign offices and campaign and Party events all over the state and it was hope,not hate that fueled every one of them.

Politics ain't Beanbags and Debate isn't always supppose to be without emotion Genghis.

As far as having faith I think I'll pass and stick to reason and actions. Faith seems to make it way to easy to remain above it all and justify staying a spectator instead of becoming a full citizen.

lamontcranston said...

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen..." - Hebrews 11.1

Anonymous said...

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

Matt said...

Keith and CGG have it right ... when people care about things, debate can get lively or contentious, but no one consistently comes to the table out of animus.

I still think it's a shame Turfy left town, even though I agreed with her on extremely little, because engaging with people you disagree with keeps your arguments sharp and honest (and sometimes you get proven wrong anyway).

Anonymous said...

"Yes, we are lost. But we still blunder forward, blind and stupid, and some day we’ll emerge on the other side of whatever this is".

Are we really lost? Or only always looking for the easy way out? Are we really blind and stupid? Or do we foolishly only see what we want to see, while refusing to accept reality? What exactly will it take for us to emerge from the other side of whatever this is?

We have allowed ourselves to become an entitlement society. It seems to me we all want everything, but at no cost to us. As long as someone else pays, we are unconcerned about the price. We elect politicians not on their accomplishments, but on their empty promises.We are content to dig ourselves into deeper and deeper holes as long as we are satisfied we can pass the problems on to our kids.

We have to understand the problems we face going forward from high energy costs, to the dismal fiscal situation this state is in, will require all of us to realize we are all part of the problem. All of us will be required to help solve them. Not just those few who we are constantly told do not pay their fair share. We must all understand either we all pay our fair share, or we all learn to live within our means.

Until our political leaders have the guts and courage to try to win office by being honest with us, they have no chance to make any real positive change once elected. Obviously, then we ourselves also need to accept the holes we have dug for ourselves will only be filled after we are honest with ourselves to begin with.

I may be wrong in my thinking, but I was always taught in this world you just don't get something for nothing. Al

TrueBlueCT said...

Wow! Mr. X and I agree. Energy conservation, health coverage for everyone, and fiscal responsibility!

And ANON11:46--
If you want to see entitled, look to America's rich. They think they are due fourth and fifth houses, mega-yachts, privat jets, etc., while million of Americans work hard at their jobs, but have no health insurance. In my America, health care is like public education and owning a modest home and car, -- a basic pillar of the American Dream.

Anonymous said...

ANON 5:43,

I cannot disagree with your version of the basic pillars of the American dream, nor that many of America's rich have an entitlement mentality.

But to me the solutions to our problems going forward are not to somehow look at those few of us who are truly rich ( those able to afford the luxuries you mention) with envy, and blame them for all the problems most of us deal with day to day.

Do we all need to drive SUV's the size of small busses getting 12MPG to go to the grocery stores? Do our homes need to be 3000 Sq feet, with 9 foot ceilings that are energy black holes? Shouldn't we be more concerned that our kids have a good understanding of math, and can talk in complete sentences when they graduate, than if they played varsity baseball and football while in high school? Is getting a cell phone for your 12th birthday a necessary part of the American dream as well these days?

I am only trying to suggest it is counterproductive to simply look at those Americans who are truly wealthy, and somehow suggest for many of them, it is only their values that are misplaced.

Also, when we consider those American's who can own the luxuries you mention are you considering just those who have made their fortunes off the hard work of other's? Or do you also consider the countless sports figures, rock and rap stars, and movies stars, to name just a few groups, who have made their enormous fortunes off the hard earned money, eagerly turned over to them, from so many of us in the middle class?

I do not disagree with your version of the American dream. I am only suggesting that the American dream was never an entitlement. It was and still is, available to be earned. We must stop blaming others for what we do not have ourselves, and work intelligently, as well as realistically together, to achieve our goals.

Finally, in attaining those goals it would help greatly if our newly elected officials, young and old, from any party, would put self, as well as special interests behind them. Instead, they must all honestly work to make attaining the American dream both here in Connecticut, as well as the rest of the country a realistic possibility for all of us, the most important special interest group they should worry about. Al