Looking forward to a better 2017

Happy New Year to all!

The evening after Christmas Day, 2016 and while contemplating possible discussion topics for our next “What the Bleep?” meeting, Marge asked the question. Were you better off or worse off in the year 2016? Following the Bleep discussion on December 31st many more questions arose including “What can I do to make the world a better place in 2017?”

I chose to look forward to 2017 with more optimism and to share more of myself than I did in 2016.

So it was I awoke at 3:30 am on January 1, 2017 with optimism and anticipating our local and world news. Thanks to our delivery person both the Alaska Dispatch News and the Peninsula Clarion were placed neatly in the center of our plowed driveway at 3:40 am and not buried in the snow berm in our ditch.

My optimism and anticipation took a horrendous blow when I saw the 34 pictures in the ADN of the young people whose lives were cut short by violence and the news of the 35 people killed in the fourth major attack on people in Turkey. My anger surged and I viewed Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter and GPS with Fareed Zakari. As I recall their shows focused on looking forward and what we need to do to make 2017 a better year than 2016. Lt. Governor Byron Mallot’s commentary on “Why I love Alaska in the ADN and the Clarion editorial, Make 2017 better….. helped me regain my balance.

Emanating from all this combined wisdom is the thought we may need to revive the course of Human Relations with the objectives of improving the ways we interact with each other. As I recall we eliminated the course from our higher education curriculum in the early 1980’s in order to save money. Based on the recent gridlocks in Washington, DC, and Juneau and considering the costs of legislative inaction we might want to rethink that decision.