Monday, January 2, 2012

An Honest Outlook

By Brenda Black

Opinions ricochet across the globe, zinging prophecies concerning 2012. Some volley good year predictions while others warn of pending doom. Economic upswing or more market plummets? Depends on who you ask. Global peace? Depends on where you live.

“Syria's government-owned Al-Thawrah says people across the country 'look forward to a new year full of hope and optimism,'” the BBC reports. But that same article, published Jan. 2, goes on to quote political analyst Wang Honggang from a statement published by China's Guangzhou Ribao newspaper. In it he predicts that "the global chain of unrest symbolized by the 'Arab Spring', 'Europe Summer', 'Wall St Autumn' and 'Moscow Winter' will continue to brew and trigger a series of follow-up effects,” making 2012 "more complex and unpredictable" than 2011.

Here at home, the reviews are just as mixed. If you listen long enough, you'll hear both hope and fear, sometimes in the same breath. I've ventured such conflicting emotions myself – especially when I analyze the next generation and their outlook.

I'm hopeful when I spend time with some young friends who are bright and articulate; moral and purpose-driven. They talk of community service and faith and friendship. They love to laugh and they aren't afraid of work. And then, I feel nauseous when I hear of the crass and ignorant rants from people who desecrate property and damn society, blaming everyone but themselves for their own circumstance. Hope and fear. Help and hindrance. Honor and disrespect. That's the difference in the next generation – and when we each look in the mirror at ourselves.

For the record, those who scream “We are the 99%” are not speaking for me! And last time I checked, I sure didn't fit financially into the remaining 1%. If you're like me, you can't identify with such polarized pigeon holes either. Around these parts, we don't lump ourselves into radical movements crying foul and expecting hand outs. Nor do we put buckets on our heads and pretend everything is perfect. We just do the best we can with what we have, which, for the record, we earned the hard way.

I don't have any grand predictions for 2012. Only the Lord knows what is certain in the months ahead. I know I can't afford $5 gas that some are forecasting and I don't think our nation can afford another four years of misguided management. I do know that America is in jeopardy and if we want to get through 2012, we better get on our knees starting now! But my plea is not rooted in fear. It's founded in belief. I believe there is a better way, a higher road, and I will always choose hope over fear and God's wisdom over my own intelligence. And I'll thank Him for every glimpse of decency, civility and morality I discover in fellow humanity.

There is hope this year if you look for it. There is hope this year if you will be it.

copyright 2012 - The Word's Out- Brenda Black

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