Well I for one think Happy New Year looks and sounds better in Italian than it does in any other language really... I think it just glides more easily off the tongue.... ....and I hope that this new year of 2012 will be one in which we can all glide smoothly towards amicable and intelligent solutions for what has held the earth to ransom for much of its recent history. Ecologically and spiritually speaking we now have such advanced technology that it is surprising that people are still starving, dispossessed and killing one another in all manner of war zones and traumatised regions across the globe.
I begin this year with no specific New Year resolutions in mind...I think such things set us up to fail as we place too much emphasis on the importance of whether we rid ourselves of a bad habit or not. Often if we don't achieve our goals it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy and we become resigned to be unsuccessful at giving up what might be bad for us. It seems to me that the result is simply a downward spiral and no progress is ever made.
Rather I am looking at a gradual change in my habits, such as my diet (but oh how I love sugary things!) and managing my stress levels. While these two simple things combined can be controlled by limiting my coffee intake... which in the larger scheme of things is probably not the worst bad habit you can have...it's truly my sole addiction. We are all living much longer lives in the western world now and I believe that continuous good health is one of the greatest gifts for which anyone could hope. If I have to forgo a few lattes here and there for the sake of a decent quality of life, then so be it...
Yet perhaps the very basis of my bad habits are also the reason that people are suffering across the world. While that might sound grandiose it's easy to draw a line that connects my health to the health of another being that stands in the midst of a sugar cane field somewhere.
Think about it. For every cup of coffee you or I drink, several feet of rainforest or bush land has been cleared so that a crop can be sown and a cow raised (I love my lattes, though I do drink soy rather than milk). So to provide for my particular desires the ecology of the landscape in some part of the world has been irrevocably changed and the person who is tilling the earth is probably beholden for his or her livelihood to a gigantic multi-national corporation whose shareholders are the one percent of the world's wealthiest people. Its the same with tobacco and alcohol and while the cartels that control the illicit drug trade dealing in cocaine and heroin are outlaw, they are still multi-national companies employing farmers, transportation methods and sales people.
So it seems to me if I truly give up my bad habit of guzzling coffee or at least drink one cup a day that maybe more expensive because it supports free trade producers then in fact I am not only doing myself a favour but also the rest of the world.
Todays photo is the new years blossom on the snowgums at Hogben's Hut.
No fireworks... just flowers. I hope that 2012 is as full of simple pleasures and soul food as this... as much for you as it is for me.
So what are your dreams, hopes and wishes for this year?