Monday, January 01, 2007


As a New Year begins, many people (but strangely never governments or nations) make New Year Resolutions. The kind of resolutions they make are closely related to the way they see the world but, of course, one can see the world in many different ways depending on which aspect of it you select!

This beautiful photo (thanks to Stardust), shows the Aurora Borealis in America and demonstrates the beauty of nature in one of its more benign moods. People collect such photographs, of glorious sunsets, of bear cubs playing, of brilliant coral and fish, and use them to reflect upon, to lift their mood. Of course ugly photos of things like the Tsunami which devastated much of Indonesia a year or so ago and killed thousands of people or hurricane Katrina are not kept, or, if they are, they are rarely if ever looked at.

I guess the same parallels apply to humans. The extremes of human behaviour exactly mirror the extremes of nature. For example, at this moment, in different parts of the world, babies are being born in wonderfully equipped hospitals and new parents are crying for joy and talking about which prestigious university their progeny will attend. Elsewhere, sobbing parents are burying a child who has died from starvation or been blown to pieces by a suicide or cluster bomb or succumbed to aids.

Some people at this moment are enjoying luxurious vacations on wonderful exotic beaches while others, abandoned by the world, enter their fortieth year of grinding occupation and poverty. At this moment there are people giving generously, helping others; and there are people taking all they can get or furiously social-climbing or grabbing power or killing.

Given the extremes of the physical world and its people, to make sweeping resolutions each New Year seems fanciful.

After all, which view of world is real? Which view of humanity is real?

And who is brave enough to anwer these questions honestly?