Well, I guess it's approaching that time when certain people attempt to reflect on the past year. Admittedly, it can be a depressing endeavor.
WARNING: My glass is half empty. Read on at your own risk.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall:

If I listed all the organizations that are ostensibly in the business of helping those in need, this would become a lengthy, boring piece, so I will just offer kudos and a big HUZZAH to all those good people whose awareness and humanitarian efforts reach beyond their tiny personal world. So many of us are actively involved in trying to upgrade the human condition that one would think the fog would have lifted by now. But it hasn't.

1. Every family I know is stressed and is suffering as much as they ever have.
2. And minorities still suffer from systematic, policy-driven oppression.
3. And the oblivious masses hate as much as they ever have and likely always will.
4. And the war machine marches on. Hup, two, three, four.
5. And the faithful are still blind.
6. And too many American children are still dying of hunger and treatable diseases while a lot of decadent folks sip their fine wine, spit-shine their BMW's, admire their Picasso on the wall, and rationalize their lifestyle in a dozen different ways. "Applied Ethics" is a category they've never heard of. Simon and Garfunkel had it pegged with lyrics from "The Boxer." — A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Corruption City is international and overpopulated and will remain so. Too many politicians — those people we elect to represent us — have their head in the sand, their hands in the till, their feet in their mouth, or a stick up their butt. The wonder is that so many people don't recognize it or don't give a hoot as long as current policies don't affect them personally. Too many humans suffer from a permanent virus that is deeply entrenched in their hard drive. The symptoms are hate, greed, selfishness, violence, apathy, ignorance, and a detachment from reality.

There are more people to fear than to love.

Just like other nations, America represents, either directly or implicitly, all the ills of the human condition. As much as most of you would like to lay the blame elsewhere, would like to believe we are a shining example, I won't allow it in my class. And what makes it more insidious, is that we and only we, with all our wealth and influence, actually have the wherewithal to bring about significant change, to lead by example, ala good parenting.

My best advice for a healthy future is for everyone to become familiar with the philosophy of Applied Ethics.

Happy Holidays!

Author's Bio: 

I am a retired hypnotherapist, author, inventor, and club racquetball pro. I live in an 1813 farmhouse in upstate New York with my wife, Eileen, and when I'm not writing political/social change oriented articles, I spend a good amount of my time working on the sequel to my first novel, "The Zedland Chronicles" sub-titled, "Orphan Running." I admire men like Mahatma Ghandi and also Pete Seeger, who remains on the front lines in the battle for social/political change in spite of his advanced age.