I'll try hard to keep this short and simple. But if I get out of control, bear with me. I've said enough about the incredible things that have happened over the past year. I'd just like to wish all my fans, friends and friends' parents all the best for this brand new year!
But before I finish, I'd like to say a few words about the state of the world at this point and what I'd like to do on my part to make a change for the better. I know, I know. If we start talking about what's wrong with our world, the discussion will never end. But this is just one little piece of the problem that jumped out at me. I was just randomly flipping channels one day when these things hit me. I saw it everywhere from the Oprah show to Anderson Cooper's 360o on CNN to MTV.
A couple of things really touched my heart and I'll admit that they almost brought me to tears. There was a rerun of Anderson Cooper's interview with Angelina Jolie from earlier this year on CNN. It was about her passion for helping the people around the world who suffer from oppressive governments, civil war, genocide and other cruel tragedies of our time. For a moment, I imagined myself as one of those millions of children without parents, freezing, hungry, imprisoned in a hopeless cage of a life. Then I found myself back at my warm home with a full stomach and excited about going back to UW. The stark contrast just burned me up. What did I do to deserve this wonderful life that those unfortunate children didn't?
Then came something from the Oprah show. Even in our beloved nation, the United States of America, there are currently 30 to 37 million people below the poverty level and they're living without things like clean, running water, paved roads, electricity or proper medical attention for treatable diseases; in other words, third-world conditions. That's life for one hopeless, suffering person out of every ten people in America 1. If all this doesn't send earthquakes through your emotions, you're a lump of rock and you really need to open yourself up to the world around you.
So what are some constructive things that we can do (instead of sitting around and worrying) to help make our world a better place? For starters, you could sponsor a child. We've all seen the commercial a hundred times. "For as little as 22 dollars a month, you could..." I know you know what I'm talking about. "You could," so do it. I dare you.
Then, you could do your part as a citizen of a democratic nation and elect a leader who will dedicate his/her life to the welfare of all humanity instead of his/her own pocket. On your part, that takes involvement in what's going on around the world and what election candidates promise to do about it. Also, you could donate to organizations like UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders.
I never intended to use my blog to express my political opinions and I'm not at all excited about making political remarks on it right now, but I've been driven to speak out. You could support the anti-war movement and bring this silly "war on terrorism" to an end. Seriously, what is President Bush doing about the genocide in Sudan? Doesn't that look like terrorism to you? If this war were over, your tax dollars could be better spent to help people around the world. Nobody wants any more fighting. Nothing is solved by shooting people and blowing things up - especially when there are people with no food to survive. All we're doing in this war is earn the hate of the people we are trying to help. Well, here's something simple you can start with. Visit this link.
Think about it. The "giving" season is not just about giving to your close friends and family and it doesn't just last from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve. You should be thinking of those poor, starving kids in Haiti and Pakistan and Ethiopia and so many other countries worldwide every time you sit down to a holiday meal with those you love. If you can do just that much, I'd call you a superhero.
As for myself, being a superhero will mean a lot more things to me this year than... whatever it did last year. I resolve to not be a hypocrite and start sponsoring a child by the end of this year (and I resolve to get a job to help me do that :D ).
Thanks for reading this far. Do have a happy 2007 but always keep these things on your mind - and do something about it. Then you'll have something to say about what you did for the world when 2008 comes around.
1 U. S. POPClock Projection. Oct 17, 2006. U. S. Census Bureau. Jan 1, 2007 http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html.