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Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year's Toast: 2012



Dear 2012,

Au revoir!  You were truly a year of tragedy and comedy.  You brought us some great triumphs but also lots of misery as well.  We had class and style, Gangnam style that is.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Have you been living under a freakin' rock?  Gangnam style was the most watched You Tube video (over 1 billion) by Psy, a Korean pop phenomenon whose hit video landed him a cameo on SNL and the Today Show.  The song also ended up being sung by 'Glee' and was recreated and dubbed more than any other annoying song in history.  Macarena?  What's that?  Oh and it also helped draw attention to his father's business and stock soar.

Now on to the important stuff.  We saw the ushering in of a second term for President Barack Obama and a historic night for Democrats, especially in the Senate.  Although, this Presidential race was proof that our country was more divided than ever.  This Presidential race was arguable the most contentious and vile in our nation's history.  President elect Mitt Romney and VP elect Paul Ryan used lies and smears; they even tried to prevent whole segments of the American population from voting (ie. African Americans, seniors, and students).  This, however, and their army of rabid GOP Tea Party zombies didn't unhinge the fact that America wanted Barack Obama back in the White House.  Can you tell whose side I was on? 

We, as a nation and world, had some freak weather phenomena that brought NYC, NJ, and the East Coast Hurricane Sandy which will forever leave its imprint.  Tornadoes, earthquakes, record rain and snowfall seem to be permanent fixtures for the future, not just anomalies.  Unfortunately, as the population grows and certain commodities become scarce, namely water and fuel, we will see more people become displaced and end up being environmental refugees.  Will we welcome them?  Will we give up our resources for others? 

This year also ushered in a lot of mourning within the entertainment industry and world of artists.  We saw the passing of: Whitney Houston, Etta James, Donna Summer, Dick Clark, Nora Ephron, Dave Brubeck, Don Cornelius, Adrienne Rich, Andy Griffith, Gore Vidal, Davy Jones, Earl Scruggs, Thomas Kinkade, Robin Gibb, Vidal Sassoon, Ray Bradbury, Richard Dawson, Rodney King, Sally Ride, Neil Armstrong, Phyllis Diller, Sherman Hemsley, Ravi Shankar, General Schwarzkoph, and George McGovern to name a few.  Great talent left this earth but also entered in through every new breath of life.  Is it possible that the next generation is one of peace? 

We saw an increase in gun violence in the US and had tragedies take place in Aurora, CO. and Newtown, CT. claiming the lives of children and adults (12 and 26 respectively).  A debate was launched about 2nd Amendment rights and whether to buy more guns or abolish them altogether.  Will we keep seeing tragedies like this happen in schools, churches, malls, and theaters or will there be legislation that keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable.  Will we, as a country, be able to adequately and compassionately deal with our addicts and mentally 'unfit'? 

We also all became Brit-philes as the phrase 'Keep Calm and...' became a rave.  Tea and biscuits anyone?  No surprise, since the London Olympics had everyone glued to the tele and named some winners like: Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Usain Bolt, and Ryan Locthe.  We watched Syria erupt in chaos and civil war while other countries like India and Egypt spoke up for their civil rights.  Many new breakthroughs were made with technology and science while, as humans, we demonstrated that there is still a lot to learn from nature and one another.

It isn't about how much you have but who you share it with.  Let's not focus on who should be allowed to marry, but what relationships define selflessness and charity.  Gay couples are now allowed to marry in more places than before and slowly, we are opening up our very definition of love.  The definition of family is changing.   Women can have a career and children, with IVF women can have babies over the age of 35.   Many men stay at home with the kids while women work. 

Our very livelihood, our core has been shaken in 2012.  One moment, here, and the next gone.  Perhaps the biggest lesson is: LOVE and TOLERANCE.

The world didn't end.  The Mayans were not quite correct, or maybe they were.  Maybe we're at the dawn of a 'new age', an age where we understand one another in ways we haven't in the past.  Perhaps hate and aggression are becoming things of the past.  Maybe the violence and chaos happening worldwide will be a bygone phenomena.  I certainly hope so.  

Here's to 2013, which will bring in positivity and creativity.  May the right side of the brain dominate along with empathy and unity. 

Here, here!




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