Things I want in the New Year
by Donald K. Sanders
Despite what he scribbles into his history books, man has never changed. Of the last 3,500 years, only 300 (more or less) have not seen war. A year with war is always more productive than a year with peace. We worship those who commit the utmost carnage upon the Earth. We raise the most violent among us to rank and privilege over us. The peacemakers have never been equal to the warriors.
Even in this great nation, we as individuals bow to governmental restraints because we live by morals, laws and the guarantee of basic protection of lives and property. On the other hand, the government acknowledges no restraints because it is large enough not to worry about interference with its will and there is no international law to offer it protection. The state has our instincts without our restraints.
There are more hungry people on the Earth than the populations of the U.S., Canada, and the European Union combined. Thus we find that there are only three things that will restore the balance between population and food production: famine, pestilence, and warfare. There is violence on every corner, and crime in every neighborhood.
Machines and computers have given us in the First World decades of global growth and wealth. We now live in the biggest credit bubble in the history of mankind. Worldwide port traffic has fallen by double digits. Air cargo has dropped by 23 percent. Friends are losing their houses, schools are closing, unemployment is almost as high as the Great Depression of 1929. We have lost faith in our government and no one on the hill seems to care.
No one knows what is going to happen or how we can make things better. Common people have taken to the streets with no real direction or purpose. Most are just angry and feel that any action, whether right or wrong, is better than no action at all. The future is looking bleak. Throughout human history, ages of wealth and great prosperity are always followed by hopeless ages that are dark.
Years of individual freedom and wealth in much of the world have led to the spike in population to over seven billion people. Of that number, one billion people go to bed hungry. We are fast approaching the point where the world cannot produce enough food and fresh water for everyone. Hunger and malnutrition are, in fact, the number one risk to our health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Despite noble attempts, programs to feed the world have constantly failed. One third of the world’s population does not have access to enough fresh water.
There are things we all would like to see happen in the upcoming new year of 2012. However, since I am writing this column, I’ll just write about what I want. That’s what’s important anyway, right?
The first thing I want is to see is my friend Steve get healthy. If he would work at it a little bit, I know he could look almost as good as I do. When I was younger, people would call me Handsome Don.
I’m still pretty handsome, but people don’t tell me that very often these days. I don’t get out much anymore, I have a big belly, my hair is gray, and I don’t have a forehead anymore, I have a fivehead.
I’ll just list the things that I want in 2012 and you can tell all of your friends who can’t read exactly what it is. Okeedookee?
I want to plant trees near the cool blue waters of Putah Creek with Libby Earthman, Sara Tremayne and Rich Marovich. I want to watch them grow. When the wheat planted by Rich Marovich is knee high, I want to wade through it with my wife. I want to sit under one of the trees and kiss her softly upon her lips. I want the children of Winters to run and play all around us so they will know what real love looks like in case they don’t see it at home.
I want to act more like a man than the whimpering girlieguy that I usually am. Waa, Waa, Waa, all the time. I want to be able to control my emotions when my eyes see one thing and my emotions see another. I want to watch the fireworks on the forth of July and have my emotions tell me that these are merely fireworks and not something else that makes my body tense and my heart beat faster. I want to stay in the light of the brilliant burst of gunpowder without want of backing away and crouching in the shadows, unseen and unheard.
I want to watch my son Joey play his guitar and sing with his friends. I want to think of my son and your son driving somewhere to have fun like young people should, without the intruding thought of them jumping from a helicopter and being pulled upside down by the weight of their rucksack so that they land on their heads.
I want to think that should I ever divest myself of those emotions (that leave my body tense, my nostrils flared, and my brow contracted) I would not find that I have nothing left worth saving within my skull. Furthermore, if what I see in 2012 is not better than what I saw in 2011, I’ll tell you the last thing that I want on New Years. I want to be blind or dead