The year of 2016 draws to a close and we are a bit baffled that the media, social and not so social, are all in agreement that it was a bad year. We are not baffled that they think it a bad year so much as why; their focus appears to be on the pop stars and film stars who have died and on two elections fought with such unpleasantness that both (Anglophone) electorates seem unable to recover from or to forgive the vicious attacks. Resentment of the time bomb variety seems to seethe.
It will get worse, for the real problem is human overpopulation; as we feel the crowding, we react badly:
- We expand our use of space for homes and second homes. All other species are being crowded off of this planet, the latest report being that the cheetah is on the brink of extinction.
- We continue to pollute with fossil fuels. This was the hottest year on record for planet; will we respond to the inevitable weather disasters and crop failures with more hostility?
- That hostility continues and millions are in such despair that they leave their homes and homelands embarking on dangerous journeys seeking a place to live in peace.
- As the crowding and competition for resources and work increase, some retreat into xenophobia.
To us, these seem more the reasons to regret 2016. Our failure to change will be our doom.
As a genealogist, we actually are relieved when we research more recent census returns in which we no longer see families following the depressing pattern: a child born every two years until the mother drops dead in her forties after which the father remarries a woman in her twenties who produces a child every two years until she drops dead in her forties, by which time the eldest daughters are adult and at least one must give up having a life of her own to care for the ageing father and all the babies.
As much fun as it is to research our ancestors, we and our children and our planet are paying a terrible price for their reckless over-breeding, their territorial battles, their greed, their intolerance, their religious, racial and political persecutions. Locally, in past centuries, that behaviour was bad enough, globally -- as everything is nowadays -- it is catastrophic for us all.
So, for all our love of things past and of history, we would like to make a plea that humanity make 2017 the year that we break with the time-honoured traditions of our various countries and cultures that have brought us to this mess. Let us find a way to live and behave that does not harm any others in any way, and let us find it in 2017.
Bonne année, Dear Readers.
©2016 Anne Morddel