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Enjoy the ride

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

2017 has been a tough year for our world. We have watched in horror as North Korea and the United States have played a frightening game of escalating war of words, threatening the world with which president has the bigger ego and who has the most threatening weapons. We have seen horrible mass shooting and bombing attacks in Bangladesh, Cairo, Manchester, London, and Las Vegas. In Australia here we have just come through a bruising postal survey campaign on same sex marriage and all of the politicians in parliament seemed only concerned to prove to us that they are not as bad as the other party. The gap between rich and poor seems to be growing all of the time. Yes I don't think 2017 will be remembered fondly by too many of us.

Yet really I don't think of any of the years for the world have ever been all that easy. I know the year I was born, 1963 was at the height of the cold war. President Kennedy got assassinated. The civil rights movement saw much violence in the United States. Oh sure wonderful things happened that year. The Beatles recorded the first songs for their album, Julia Child began her first television show, Pavarotti made his debut, Martin Luther King Junior gave his "I Have a Dream" speech and of course I was born. But, I am sure that forever 1963 will be remembered for the assassination of JFK.

We always remember things strangely. We forget the bad times or romanticise them and ignore the good times. Sometimes certain events have long lasting significance. People will say "Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the millenium happened, and when the planes hit the twin towers. Other events we forget or they get changed in our minds. Things like living through a war get morphed into something more romantic. Things which are quite wonderful at the time diminish in importance. Why this happens, I don't know? But I do know it does make living through the next traumatic or exhilirating event easier to live with.

So what will 2018 hold? I don't know. But I am sure there will be good times and bad times. I am sure there will be things that I do which will be really enjoyable and things that will fill me with sadness. Good times and bad times come and go. Some good people will die; other good people will be born. Many events will happen that will not change the world, but maybe a few things will happen that will make a difference.

Basically I am saying we are not in control. We all want good times to last forever. They won't. We all think that the bad things that we are going through are forever. They aren't. Each year holds surprises, good and bad. We are just invited to sit back and enjoy the ride.

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