2012 was a dramatic year that left so many impressions on me. The London Olympics were simply spectacular, Myanmar opened up to the world, we saw the human tragedy in Syria worsening, a change of Presidents in China, Obama being re-elected and the year ended with the death of a young Indian girl dying after being brutally gang raped.
This morning 30 December I went to my favorite web site stuff.co.nz and saw the headline article about an Asian visitor being rescued from the sea by two young New Zealand men at a beach in the North Island. I want to believe that good prevails over bad as a New Year is about to begin and while I am traveling in Thailand with my two sons and a nephew, I am observing the warm, hospitable and helpful people they encounter.
People are basically good and want to do good. It is ill-intentioned institutions and families that push children and gullible adults on the wrong path. I have seen over zealous right wing churches in the US doing this, Wahhabi funded Madrases in Pakistan spouting warped ideology and was on the spot in 2001 to see the sectarian violence between Hindu and Moslem in Gujarat India. I deplore what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians.
The link between State and religion is where so many problems occur and there is no simple answer to remedy this. My Father used to say regularly "charity begins at home." I have modified this to " charity , or acts of good, should be done where ever you are, to who ever needs it."
We all have a lot to learn from the parable of the Good Samaritan that giving or helping is not something you plan, but it should be instinctive.
A Happy New Year to all my friends, colleagues and family, and friends I have yet to meet.