And peace and goodwill to all…

Does it seem to you, that perhaps more than ever before, the thoughts and wishes for the festive season and for the New Year, have taken on a new and complex ring?

It seems at times our world has gone mad. Life and events are not as we know them or expect them to be; terrorism, conflict over the environment from CSG and fossil fuels, confronting photos of orang-utans, koalas and polar bears among many losing their habitat, the Ice epidemic, domestic violence, the economy, our own futures. The whole box and dice is a worry.

And yet.

And yet there are moments of joy within our families, our towns and villages, as well as the momentary global coming together in times of tragedy and hope such as we have seen in Paris.

While we may wish for world peace and prosperity, it’s not going to happen any time soon. We can be glad we are not living in Syria, we can criticise our politicians, we can fret about the Aussie dollar, trees being cut down, the looming spectre of mines and fracking, but what can we really do about it?

Perhaps it all comes down to those simple words – Do unto others.

If we pause a moment before growling about a sourpuss neighbour, consider do you really know what’s going on in their life? Or what has happened to that person in the course of years to bring them to this miserable condition? Have you bothered to stop and ask how they are, would they like to come in for a cup of tea, a chat? My grandmother was a great one for baking sponge cakes in the fuel stove in Price Street Wingham and delivering them to newcomers, strugglers and the “out of towners” on the fringes of society.

Are we all too time poor to take time to observe old fashioned courtesies? We have the opportunity to invest in a friendship, offer a helping hand, or simply listen, but do we?

Yes, we have rotten roads and rising rates and the spectre of losing our land to greed and unimaginative planning and thinking. But look out the window, do you see a tree, a garden, hear a bird, or know they’re just a short walk away?

What we have is precious, we need to protect our community and be grateful.

At a certain age one can look back and lament that it’s not how it used to be back then. Or was it ever thus; finding a good job, working to pay bills, raise a family, achieve a dream, enjoy life a little.

As the children of today step up to their future, hopefully they do not fear the chaos and uncertainty, choosing instead the cheerful arrogance of ambition, that their dreams and achievements will carry them forward to a new world, different to what we know, but that is their journey to make.

If we can instill in a child the seed of ambition tempered with humility, the notion to be gracious in defeat, to applaud others, to be grateful for all they have and do, and be thankful for the gifts of love and sharing a family gives them, and a desire to make their world a calmer, safer, clever place, and above all Do Unto Others, then, perhaps, all may be well.

Take a moment to draw a breath of fresh air, admire our scenery, smile at a stranger and be thankful we are where we are and who we are.

Perhaps we can all do a little better; be a little more thoughtful, be a little more generous in life and spirit, and allow the common good to prevail. It’s a small step to take, but isn’t that how all journeys begin, with hope and optimism?

May you travel well on life’s journey.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Manning Community News.

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