Odd Thoughts: Better 2019 just around the corner

Columnist Bob Groeneveld invites people to be a source of light not darkness.

Trade wars… the Middle East… Brexit… earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis… hurricanes and rising sea levels… rising dictatorships… if you’re not careful, you could let the broad picture convince you that humanity is going to hell in a hand basket.

The world is at a pretty iffy place, thanks to some of the big players that we’ve allowed to take charge.

But look at the smaller picture, the people closer to home, the people dealing with the world on a one-to-one level… people who have decided that there’s more to life than sticking it to the next guy to make a few extra bucks.

Not everybody wants to be Trump or Putin. Most people prefer to proceed on their better nature.

Some of the big players, like billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have come to understand that bigger is better only if the heart behind the money is bigger.

Langley’s Rotarians recognize there’s more to the business of living than personal profit. Through Rotary International, they’ve combined forces with more than a million like-minded business and professional people to shine the lights of education and sanitation around the world, to promote understanding and peace, and – hopefully in the next few years – eradicate polio (Gates has joined in that final push).

Local Lions, likewise, are part of a global network that values sharing and caring over having and taking. Kinsmen… Shriners… Soroptimists… Kiwanis… Elks and Royal Purple… from Langley across Canada or around the world, each adds to humanity, rather than taking.

And then there are all the individual efforts, many highlighted in the pages of local community newspapers like the Advance, but also many working quietly behind the scenes.

Surely, 2018 has a lot of dark corners that don’t seem like they could shed any light on the coming year. But don’t just look in the dank corners populated by the Donald Trumps and Rodrigo Dutertes.

Take a page out of Augustino Duminuco’s book. The Langley man works to help the homeless and to steer youngsters away from the corner that caught him early in life, a corner that took him all the way to prison. He looked past that corner: “I was a part of the problem for many years, and I thought, I want to be a part of the solution now.”

Open your eyes to those who live in the light and shine for us all. Add a bit of light of your own, and the whole world will be just a bit brighter, and the New Year a whole lot happier.

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