Issue #154  12/23/2008
A Holiday Message

By Alex Novak

At this time, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weihnachten, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, Eid al-Adha, Muharram, Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo, Glückliche Neue Jahre, and Bonne Annee. If I missed one or two greetings, I apologize and offer you my best wishes of the season.

It's a bit odd this holiday season. We are in difficult financial straits and much of the world is still in turmoil, but at the same time we have cause for hope. In the U.S.A. we have a new president who will soon be inaugurated, who in fact ran on a platform of hope.

So during these holidays, let us all give in to our own best inclinations and hope and pray for a more peaceful world--a world that addresses poverty and environment with more vigor and thoughtfulness. And let us commit ourselves to action on those nice platitudes, to make sure that they aren't just empty promises of a better world.

It is more important than ever to try to support the various charities that need our help with an increasingly heavier load and less resources. And let us again try to pressure all our governments--no matter where we live--to work for the betterment of the world, rather than for parochial, selfish interests that are politically expedient. Remember that it is easier to criticize from afar than to get involved. Only if we ourselves--not someone else down the block, or in some other country--make a real contribution to change this planet Earth for the better, will things actually improve.

And, finally, I wish us all a new year of unselfish love, affection and caring--for those around us and for those with whom we all share this very small and fragile world. I hope your holidays are safe and happy ones for you and your families.

And thank you for your kind patience with this poor writer and editor during this past year and in the coming year.