Friday, December 29, 2006

Regular readers of this blog know that it isn't the type of place where I talk about myself, my day, my ups and downs, my feelings etc. I mostly write about politics, social issues, religion, culture and the arts with my opinions imbued into topics I care about.

I thought about writing a recap of the year's events. Maybe I could add some of the year's images as well. I then thought about Time Magazine's "images of the year" issue - it featured about 75 photos and 55 or so of them featured war, famine, flooding, death. There are 1,001 year end recaps to read out there, mine won't be one of them.

The year's events seem to have matched the images Time presented. So rather than recap what most of us know, that in 2006 the world was still filled with the things it has been filled with for at least the last 10,000 years - famine, war, hate, racism, intolerance, religious wars, tragic deaths, culture wars, corrupt politicians, the rich getting richer the poor getting poorer, justice being left in a dark room by itself. I decided to make a short list of some of the positives of the year for me.

I know that compassion, love, creativity, brotherhood, tolerance, and the forces of goodness that can only come from the human heart are still out there.

I have a spiritual life, it is my own and it is personal and not something I tend to talk about or advertise. I am Buddhist but I draw wisdom and hope from many religions, philosophies and belief systems. I am definitely a student of the Joseph Campbell school of the study of comparative religion.

If you are religious, spiritual, agnostic, atheist, no matter. I think the words to this, the "St. Francis Prayer" is the thing I aspire to daily (and fail so often) and that I will aspire to in the new year, maybe you will too. Even is George Costanza is your higher power and festuvus your favorite hoilday, are these not the things we should strive to do for each other?

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Best Moment - Getting married on October 28 and spending a two week honeymoon in France and Spain.

Best Moment 1A - The birth of my first nephew.

Best Moment 1B - Watching the House and the Senate go to the Democrats from my hotel room in Biarritz, France and watching from Spain as Rumsfeld gets fired.

Best Moment 1C - Watching Rutgers beat #5 Louisville in the biggest game in the school's history.

Best Book Absurdistanby Gary Shteyngart. A fat Russian gets stranded in Russia after living in the US for 12 years. Funny, political, cultural critique, globalization and Halliburton. The perfect and best book of 2006. Runners-up,Terroristby John Updike and Oracle Bonesby Peter Hessler.

Simultaneously the Best Comedy and Best Source of Real News - The Daily Show and the Colbert Report

Best New Internet Technology - You Tube

Best Movies - The Queen, Casino Royale, The Departed, World Trade Center, V

Best Source of information and exchange of ideas - Blogs and my blog friends.

Thank you all for a wonderful year of informative discussion, hilarious banter, sharing of personal details and using this amazing medium to bring us closer together.

Happy New Year and may 2007 be healthy, prosperous and happy for you and all of your loved ones.