The other day I found myself reading my New Year’s post from a year ago, when I expressed optimism about the coming year. Hmm, I think that it is time to rally optimism again. This is not a naive expression. We need to be optimistic. Otherwise we will never never see a brighter future.
Maybe we need to put this in a historical context. Two hundred years ago the world was in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars. One hundred years ago the world was literally on the brink of the First World War, prompting Lord Grey to say on August 3, 1914 that:
“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”.
We must ask ourselves whether we see progress towards a greater human dignity when we look on this grander time scale.
So as last year drew to a close, I found myself searching through all of the “Year in Pictures” slideshows on the various news feeds. And yes there was a huge and probably disproportionate amount of misery last year. But interspersed among these were pictures of hope. So I choose to be optimistic and I think that this optimism is no where better shown than in Sergey Ponomarev April 11, 2013 photograph for The New York Times showing a young girl reading in front of her class at Mir Ali Ahmad Girls School in Parwan Province, Afghanistan.
Last year I spoke of Mark Twain’s admonishment that we “Dream other dreams, and better!” We all need to be like this young woman, we all need to have the courage to dream of a better world.
Happy New Year everyone. Happy New Year Blue Marble.