My two cents worth on the first day of the new year

My family and I didn’t  celebrate the coming of 2015; in fact I didn’t bother even to watch the celebration on TV nor the fireworks, though I went to bed at midnight. I know I am a party-pooper, but I don’t find it a big deal. If you look at it from a purely logical angle, the change from one year to another is basically the completion of the earth’s orbit around the sun. From the world’s perspectives, there have been some good deeds done, but there seems to be a hell lot more atrocities and violence committed, not to mention tragedies.

I was watching CNN earlier this morning, and Andy Holmes was discussing with a panel of guests on some major happenings in the entertainment, sporting and technology sectors for 2014. One of the discussions centered on the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian school girls by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in April. The family members took to social media to create awareness of the terrorist act and also to highlight the incompetence of the Nigerian President and the military. As a result, a hashtag “BringBackOurGirl’s” was created and many famous people were seen holding up signs of the hashtag. The thing is, how do these people, which include US First Lady and celebrities, think they can help bring back the girls when you have a screwed up government? A number of foreign countries including US, France, Israel, and even Iran and China, offered help to find them. But after all these months, to-date, only a handful managed to escape. The rest were said to have been married off to jihadist militants. Perhaps there is almost nothing the poor parents of the victims can do other than trying to keep this story  in the radar to continue the pressure on the government But, at the end of the day, the sad reality is no foreign power can bring them back when the Nigerian government and politicians are corrupt and basically a bunch of freaking assholes who only look after their own interests.

There are actually a lot worse atrocities committed elsewhere which do not get the trending hashtag, like the persecution and massacre of religious minorities and opposing groups in Iraq/Syria by ISIS,  the terrible sufferings endured by Syrian children in the warzone, and the massacre of school children in Pakistan by the Taliban. When you look at those regions inflicted by violence, they tend to be poor. Same for Nigeria; Boko Haram was formed and received support because of poverty and perceived discrimination of the Muslims by the Christian government. It is also said that they are sponsored by some Nigerian politicians. At the end of the day, economic poverty is the root cause of much suffering.

It’s true that a lot of things are beyond our control, but to me, when it comes to the new year, instead of having big count-down parties and spending all those money on fireworks and what nots, it would be better if we reflect on the past year on what had we done or not done, and what have been going on around us. Reflection and introspection should be practiced more often for the world to be a better place.

For now, I like to wish everyone a peaceful new year!
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