As we begin another New Year full of plans and hopes for all the things we want to accomplish this year, (remember all those resolutions you just made) I think it is a good time to take a very realistic look at our world.
There is no doubt about the technical advances we are making on what seems like a daily basis. While these advances enable us to keep up on the news of the day, we are also able to communicate with others in such an immediate way, it can make the distances between us and our families and friends seem much closer.
There are of course negative aspects of the vast and ever-expanding world of social media. The ability to get information and news out there for all to read and react to is amazing. Unfortunately, there are few rules or laws to govern whether such news is factual. We have all experienced how one short tweet, even when misspelled, can plant ideas in a person’s mind which can then lead to misguided words and actions by others. When our leaders use harsh words and create mistrust amongst the electorate, we are in danger of some people feeling it is OK to act and speak in such terms to others. Here in Canada, the past year has seen an increase of hate crimes and acts of racial prejudice which can make us wonder where we are headed.
Our nations here in North America are blessed in many ways including those residents who would be considered to be the majority of citizens who live their lives without prejudice or bias, who raise their families in a atmosphere of love and understanding and simply go about their work days and family life without voicing their concerns or comments about world and national affairs. The question which has arisen in the past year or so is the importance of inaction on the issues that we face as nations. Is it OK to simply ignore something that someone says or does because it doesn’t directly affect us or our families? Is it OK not to speak out when we hear such talk or see such actions that can hurt others?
I don’t think it is and am sure most of us would agree. Let’s make our resolution for 2019 to speak out and to stand up against words and actions which can only destroy or at least damage the future of our nations. Together we can keep North America great.
About the author:
Jim Paddon lives in London, Ontario, Canada and is past president of the Ontario Regional Council of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. He is currently chair of the National Social Justice Committee of the Society in Canada. He is married to his dear wife Pat and they have six daughters and eleven grandchildren. Jim has been a member of the Society since the 1970’s.
Opinions expressed are the author’s own views and do not officially represent those of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.