Goodbye 2007, hello 2008! [Archives:2008/1121/Community]

January 17 2008

By: Raju Aneja
[email protected]

The best news from 2007 has been: 1) Some degree of peace in Iraq and refugees' return, 2) More focus on the global climate, 3) Continued dialogue between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, 4) No war with Iran, 5) Talks between Israel and Palestine and 6) Latin pop singer Shakira attending university!

The worst news from 2007 has been: 1) Continued global poverty, wherein three billion people live on $2 per day and one billion are short on drinking water. 2) No cures for AIDS and cancer, 3) Human rights violations and the beating of monks in Burma, 4) Global inflation, including in the Gulf, 5) Benazir Bhutto's assassination and the instability in Pakistan and 6) that I haven't gotten a role in the movies (the pay is better than in management).

Beginning in a very subdued manner due to the brutal assassination of Bhutto, 2008 promises to be a challenging year. The grim message during the last week of 2007 was that we live in an increasingly dangerous world. Inflation, discrimination and unequal distribution of wealth and income added to 2007's woes and there may be no major paradigm shifts this year either. Inflation, unemployment and income disparity result in frustration and anger. Food prices worldwide could rise 10 to 15 percent, thereby adding to the burdens of those with lower income.

Terrorist and insurgent activities will ensure greater worldwide insecurity. Governments will face new challenges for which they may not be able to handle because they are accustomed to soft management. A new generation of leaders with new ideas is the need of the hour.

I hope 2008 will be a more enlightened year for all of us. Let's hope that we'll realize that while money is important, without good human relations, there can be no profit in the long run. As the Bible teaches, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world at the loss of his own soul?”