As I send Christmas greetings to friends and family, with the usual best wishes for a happy new year, I find this annual tradition an empty, almost pointless ritual. "Peace on earth, good will to men": really?
Anyone aware of what's going on in the world has to be dismayed. We live in a dark time. The first year of Trumpism is leading to a second, with a tax cut, mainly for the rich, that will add $1 trillion to the U.S. deficit and fail to deal with pressing issues (infrastructure needs, health care, job creation). At the same time, every progressive action on social justice and the environment by the Obama administration is being undone or subverted.
The federal government, under-funded, is not really functioning and so goes the world, wondering how to handle the decline in American leadership. The result of Trumpism in Europe is clear from the rise of nationalism and right-wing politicians and the immigrant crisis, which continues without enlightened moral leadership.
What do we have to look forward to? More instability, Islamic turmoil, economic uncertainty, sexual harassment scandals, and White House lies and corruption.
So I hope those who see my good wishes for peace in the new year know that it applies locally, to the individual and his or her family, since there is little peace to be found in the wider world. We think of those people not in the news who are working to help the poor and make goodness happen. Or we turn inward, as we must, to our religious traditions and beliefs, to sustain us in this dark time.