Year 2016 is leaving behind a legacy of uncertainties. Hope still hangs on but the thread attached to it is getting thinner. Insensibility is taking place in people’s heart. We are becoming accustomed to violence.
Sonia Ambrosio de Nelson –
We love you to the moon and back.” This was the beautiful phrase my children wrote to me in their end-of-year message. They didn’t post it on WhatsApp or Facebook; they wrote it in an illustrated card they drew for me. I appreciate the time they devoted and their creativity in sending me a loving message. Deep inside my heart, I believe love should never be measured because love is everything, in many different ways.
The thread that links the love to the moon gives me hope for better days and fills my heart with feelings of tenderness and compassion. Every time my thoughts travel through the stars, to the moon and back, I become more convinced that there is always something good even when all odds point to the contrary. Every morning the sun rises to a new day and every night little diamonds adorn the skies. These are sufficient to make this a wonderful world.
At every New Year’s celebration, there is a renewal of hope for better days. Usually, it is about peace on Earth and among mankind. But the year 2016 is leaving behind a legacy of uncertainties. Hope still hangs on but the thread attached to it is getting thinner. Insensibility is taking place in people’s heart.
We are becoming accustomed to violence. We have become immune to news about all sorts of attacks against innocent victims. Violence is becoming culturally tolerated by people and institutions — when it shouldn’t be like that.
Our world is becoming increasingly complex but also fragile.
The rapid growth of cities and urbanisation has put pressure on groundwater resources. The demand for food is increasing at almost the same rate at which food wastage is occurring. Significant environment challenges are pushing people to adjust to new ways of life. Dramatic changes are happening on our planet and we are watching it as if it’s happening somewhere else.
If disasters, diseases and deaths are not enough to encourage us to question what is going on in our world, then there is the political scenario. The recent changes in several parts of the world show that our traditional ways of digesting political information and people’s political sentiments are leaving us empty handed. We are falling behind our own understanding of the world.
Should we blame technological developments? Technology is making all sorts of things possible. Robots are already living among us. Social media is changing the world at breakneck speed. It is not just changing the way we communicate – it’s changing the way we do business, the way we are governed and the way we now live in society.
However, the credibility of information available on the internet is occasionally questionable. It is getting tricky to identify what is true or not on the web these days. Fake news, the power of social networking platforms, the manipulation of algorithms, the lack of transparency of advertising agencies and the rise of Snapchat are some of the changes that allow the impacts witnessed in 2016. Experts from the Global Agenda Council, with the World Economic Forum, point out that more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush.
We are becoming blind to the realities. We are bending down to our mobile phones instead of looking up to the sky. We are so much involved with our ‘selfies’ that we forget to see the road ahead. Last year, I wrote in this column that I hoped we could write better stories in 2016; that didn’t happen, unfortunately.
I refuse to give up on humankind. We still can find nice stories among the rubbles and tragedies. The world is full of beauty and tenderness and we need to rediscover it. The coming of the New Year gives us another opportunity to review our goals. It is time to stop and admire the prettiness of twinkling stars, to renew friendships, to say thank you. Essentially, it is time to say I love you. Happy new year!