The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Western Tribune column December 31, 2008

Many of us are ushering in the New Year with hopes of a better 2009 in spite of the bad economic condition our county is in. This was evidenced by poor holiday sales at the mall and for the first time Santa’s sack full of toys was not overflowing as usual. At least he saved in energy costs as the reindeer did not have as heavy a load to pull last week.

Yet the mood of people regarding the future is still upbeat. It is becoming more evident that the current presidential administration has affected the mood of the country in negative ways that we did not even realize and that this mood is changing as the inauguration of our new president approaches.

With positive feelings about our country’s future and our own future, we might be more likely to stick to our resolutions for 2009. So let’s resolve to make Bessemer, and the world, a better place.

“Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.” With this thought the president-elect has asked community members to come together to help shape his health care policies. Such a meeting occurred here in Bessemer on Sunday, and our suggestions have been forwarded to the transition team as requested.

But these words can serve as inspiration to all of us and about more than just health care. The economic conditions will require that each of us continue our spirit of giving and helping past the holiday season and into the New Year.

Helping your neighbor, or a stranger, does make the world a little bit better.

After the last New Year holiday I suggested that on New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight that we ring bells for peace rather than fire guns into the air to celebrate, but this suggestion will not solve the problem that puts Bessemer residents on edge each year, in part because those who do not believe in gravity (bullets that go up must come down) probably do not read this column.

But some of us will ring our bells anyway, with a special zeal this year, because our hope for 2009 is so strong.

Have a safe and fun New Year’s celebration and let’s make 2009 a year when hope becomes reality.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About the gunfire: I live up on Minnesota Ave, not far from your house, Joe. Last night was the worst I’ve ever heard. It sounded like the town was trying to re-enact the Normandy invasion. My wife and I were going to celebrate with a glass of champagne at midnight, in our back yard. We had heard quite a few gunshots earlier, but when 12:00 o’clock hit the main barrage commenced. We hightailed it back indoors. Frightening.

What’s wrong with these people? Where do they get the idea that it is ok to walk out on to their porches and blast away at the sky? And where the heck did all those automatic weapons come from? Yeah, I’m sure I heard full automatics, along with the pistols and shotguns. No one can pull a trigger that fast.

Years ago, I was in Pakistan, when I was in the Navy. The locals would celebrate with gunfire any significant event: a wedding, a funeral, opening a new laundromat. I once asked a guy, a local translator, if they were concerned at all about where the spent rounds would fall. He replied, “Insha'Allah.” As God wills it. I guess that in Bessemer, the shooters think that Jesus takes care of it all. Feckless idiots!

And how come there were so few “real” fireworks? – you know, the kind that go whoosh and then bang and then there’s a great fiery flower in the sky. I’m out of town a lot, so maybe the city banned them and I didn’t hear about it, and everyone is substituting real munitions for the pretty stuff. There was lots of real fireworks this last 4 July, though.

I didn’t see any police out on the streets, either. While I’m disappointed, I can’t say I blame them. Who wants to be a uniformed cop trying to bust a bunch of drunk armed fools shooting into the air? Just wait an hour or so, and they’ll get tired, run out of ammo, and go to bed.

Great place we live in, Joe. Bessemer, the Marvel City, always something happening.