There are a few things I have learnt over the past twelve months that feel are important to note and be aware of in the world we live in today. I think that New Years is a good a time as any to expouse them:
1) We must not allow ourselves to be cowed into a culture of fear by our Governments or our media. All too often right now the news media and the Government pumps out a massive amount of fear mongering that seem designed specifically to keep us afraid in order to get us to continually surrender civil liberties in order for them to protect us. In 2007 this could not have been more beautifully encapsulated by the attempted attacks on Glasgow Airport, which the Government span into an effort to get Parliament to give them the increase in detention without charge. We must stay aware of this rather effective political tool, which has become used more and more often since one fateful day in September 2001. Do you remember in so many films and news broadcasts before that day we heard the often quoted line of "We get a hundred terrorist threats against this country everyday, we just don't tell the public about them." Of course, it's pretty clear to see that in 2007, and moving into 2008, they tell us about each and every one. Because the more threatened we feel, the more protection we want, even if it means giving up certain freedoms. Watch for the assassination of Benezair Bhutto, and the instant blame placed on "al-Qaeda" to be thrust in all our faces very soon. Remember, bad things have always happened all over the world, we just didn't always get told about it by Reuters, Fox or Sky before.
2) Faith & belief are tenants that exist independent of proof, and therefore need to remain personal. Having an opinion is one thing, but your thoughts on the way somebody should live their life should remain yours, and not thrust in anyone elses face. In a year where - in America - the creationism vs evolution debate raged out of control, and in this country Islam vs everyone else became a staple talking point, it is important for everyone of any faith to remember that just because you think you know what is going to happen when you die still doesnt make it true. Until someone comes back from the dead to tell us, you will never know; so please, stop telling everyone that doesn't follow your beliefs why they should. And for the record, God does not make people hate others, people do.
3) Finally, we all need to realise that it is the emphasis on our differances, that Governments and politically correct organisations love to highlight, is driving us further and further apart. We are all humans, first and foremost. You skin colour, heritage, religion, sexual preferance or ability to walk is secondary to the fact that you are a human. The continued highlighting and celebrating of every minority and insignificant speck in the great void that is humanity is only fuelling the desire for those groups to become more and more prominent and foreign to those that are not of them. Why does it matter if someone is gay, or black, or Hindu or Romanian? You can get on with them in spite of this, as you are both humans, there is no need to see, acknowledge and judge the differances in you before you get to know each other. The focus on our differances is keeping us apart as a species, and allowing for the exploitation of hatred of those groups by bigots.
I Know Where We Are Trying To Go Into The Future, But The Only Way We Are Going To Get There Is Together.
HUMAN : TOGETHER
Happy New Year