I am sitting in my office preparing for the closure of this year and thinking (rather than looking) forward to the beginning of the next and find little solace in the state of the world. I do not think I have ever looked back on a year and thought so ill of it in general political, economic and social terms and I turned 62 just a few days ago.  

I started making a list of all the terrible events and realised just how redundant and futile such an exercise is.  I’m sure we all have these visions and lists of awfulness indelibly imprinted on our minds and my fear is that any attempt at a wholly comprehensive list is impossible as some idiot out there is likely to add to it before I even run my spell checker.  Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone that has been terrified, victimised, bullied, killed, lost loved ones, forced to abandon homes and livelihoods, and especially with those innocent people on the receiving end of any kind of violence.  My sympathy runs the entire spectrum from those left behind still reeling from lost elections and referendums to those that have had homes bombed and lives taken violently away.

How can I end except with a heartfelt thank you and a genuine wish that you and yours get a peaceful, reflective and regenerative energy in the next couple of weeks and a hope that next year will in practice deliver much more than it currently portends.  Another wish, perhaps a bit unusual, is that we will all get well and truly angry about the current state of the world and collectively do our utmost to disrupt the current trajectory.  As our most recent Nobel laureate said in his “Talking World War III Blues:   I’ll let you be in my dream, If I can be in yours!”  As Ambassador Joseph, ex-President of the Council on Foundations recently said in his inspirational Keynote at the Global Fund for Community Foundations meeting in Johannesburg, entitled “Shift the Power”: I want to be me without making it difficult for you to be you”. 

I wish that we may all learn the true value of living and letting live.

My very best to you,

Gerry