It is true that 2016 has seen a period of great suffering, a year of extraordinary cultural loss and sorrow. On one hand we are seeing the ugly face of intolerance rise again as it has in many centuries past. We are seeing refugees hated and turned away. We are seeing divisions not diversity being embraced. It is true that hate crimes are rising and right ring movements gaining huge support across the World. In 2016 we have seen hundreds of charities and NGOs closing everywhere and even our own projects have seen 73% decrease in resources within the year.
These things are in themselves a sadness. There is violence and strife in 67 countries and key areas are https://www.insightonconflict.org/conflicts/ It is also true that many people are burnt out, charitied out, bombed out, and millions are displaced, rejected and unwanted. There are messages of division and hate and in my 38 years in Africa I have seen a change internationally in perception.
Back to the question ... abolish this year... 2016?
It has caused me ineffable sorrow, unspeakable anguish and has in so many ways broken my heart. I have seen such personal suffering and have been powerless due to corruption and greed, policies and limitations, resources and other factors. Is this not also the reality of every year? Our connectivity grows by the hour. This month we recalled the Somme, but how easily we forget these young lives, mostly between 18 and 25.
We lament the horrors or Brexit the tragedy of a Trump, the collapse of the pound. We distress that we cannot have our imaginary financial growth.
In the end we will be the same dust as the Emperors and the princes. We shall be as the Lamas and the Rulers of the Earth.
The question is not "abolish 2016" but what did you do with it within your heart?
The Second question goes against all Vedic and ancient tradition, it was has it been a good year for you?
In 2016 this question has no intrinsic meaning, nor does it possess a moral hermetical reason. The issue is never about the self. The purpose is the existential equipoise, the capacity to find a personal spiritual harmony within the chaos of the uncertainty and contradiction.
If you look at the data, it is depressing but important to be aware: https://yhoo.it/2ggkqnG
There are 150,000 deaths a day, 54 million deaths a year, over 127 million births in 2016.
Like most of the 7.5 Billion here, it has been a challenging often lonely horrendous year. Corruption rules, greed and vested interests rule. I have seen my charities shrink and my friends go broke and lose their jobs. The dishonest thrive and do not care about the weak.
I doubt that the questions are about the disasters of 2016, these are the wrong questions.
I think the important ones are not about Brexit or the EU or Trump, but what we will be doing in the months ahead over the next decade to love and care for each other. The issues are broader than the pettiness but are about the gentleness and compassion we will be giving, not our words, but our deeds, not our writings but our actions.
Michael Meegan, November 2016