When I do make time to sit in front of the computer, I’m working on my new novel, which I promise will be finished by November!
It’s hard to write blog posts these days. I don’t want to bring you down. Man, these are difficult days, though. Trying to be hopeful. I won’t ignore the news, but I also can’t let myself get consumed by it. I want to be informed, and educated to the truth, but I have to turn away from the news when it’s so depressing and frustrating.
That’s what the hope is for, right? That things can change?
Kindness and compassion, especially for those of us who need it most. It’s not political, dammit, it’s human dignity. For everyone.
Roger Cohen of the New York Times termed it a “leap in the dark.” Donald Trump hailed the vote, crowing that Brits are “taking back their country.” And Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, declared the vote “a victory against big business and big politics.”
So, what does this vote mean to you? Well, for starters, as I write this post at 9:55am on Friday, the US stock market is down 500 points. You might see your 401K drop 10, 20, or even 30%. That’s your retirement money, the extra you set aside for your later years. The Federal Reserve is watching. There is already a lot of volatility in the world – and we are all connected, you know – Asian markets fall, the British pound sterling plummets.
Spain is calling for joint control of Gibraltar. Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU, began a new move today to hold a new referendum on independence from the UK. And perhaps most importantly, Brexit spreads across Europe, with Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark all calling for referendums. Is immigration the reason? Possibly it is the major reason. “Between 1993 and 2014, the foreign-born population in the UK more than doubled, from 3.8 million to around 8.3 million, said Oxford researchers Cinzia Rienzo and Carlos Vargas-Silva. “During the same period, the number of foreign citizens increased from nearly 2 million to more than 5 million.”
In my opinion, the Brexit vote wasn’t about the economy. It was about xenophobia. And if America doesn’t pay close attention, we could follow down the same dark path.
Do you feel as though 2012 kicked you to the curb, sucker-punched you in the jaw, sent you sprawling?
When I think about 2012, I will remember:
- Newtown, Connecticut, and 28 people killed by one — the second-worst school massacre in U.S. history.
- Hurricane Sandy – 128 people dead and over $50 billion in damage.
- Trayvon Martin shot dead by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.
- Aurora, Colorado, where gunman James Holmes killed 12 and wounded 58.
- A September 11 assault in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.
- Penn State and its sex-abuse scandal. Joe Paterno’s legacy tarnished and Jerry Sandusky convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.
- The “fiscal cliff” that will trigger automatic tax hikes and spending cuts and our elected leaders unwilling and unable to come to a fair compromise.
- Over 3,000 coalition deaths in Afghanistan as part of ongoing operations since the invasion in 2001.
- Europe’s debt crisis that has hit Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain the hardest.
- Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani shot in the head for demanding education for girls.
We are a weary world, and we need a reason to rejoice. Well, here it is.
You are not alone. You have reason to hope, and hope pushes away despair and grief. We can mourn and rejoice together this Christmas – mourn and remember those taken from us, too soon, too horribly. But we can rejoice in the expectation and hope of a better life after this one. A thrill of hope.
Wishing you peace and love at Christmas, and always.