EDITORIAL: Hoping for a more unified society in 2019

Once more it’s a new year.  A famous Arabian poet once wrote, “With everything new comes fresh hope.  With every new day, month, and year, comes refreshed hope, but aye, for hope to be fulfilled man must discard failures and disappointments of the old to not taint the new.”

These words resonate powerfully. With the dawning of 2019, as it was in past new years, there are new hopes and fears of repeating past failures. The many resolutions people make at the start of each new year is based on hope. People hope for better health, so they resolve to eat more healthy diets, and exercise more. Some hope for a stronger family life, so they resolve to be closer to their spouses and children. Others hope for wealth, so they resolve to be more careful in saving and investing their funds.

Like a new notebook

One writer compared New Year’s to new notebooks with 365 blank pages. She recommended that as people begin each new year they write their goals and hopes for the year on the first page of a new notebook, and each day as they go through the year.

Of course, individuals have different personal goals and hopes, but listening to people as 2019 approached some consensus can be determined. So, there are common goals and hope that people do share, which can be written on the new pages of 2019.

Hope for less divided society

One the first of these hopes is to live in a society that’s far less divided than the society experienced in 2018.

Politics have become one of the more powerful dividers in the society, much more so in America, in recent years.

Politics is the means by which leaders of different beliefs present themselves to the general society to be elected as leaders. But politics should be a tool to build the society, not divide it and make enemies within families, among friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Ultimately everyone in society has the same goal: to aspire to peace, good health, sound education, adequate shelter, and prosperity. The new hope this new year is that these common goals be achieved through a process of mutual agreement between people of different political persuasions.

The Jamaican Diaspora is really hoping that in 2019 political division in their homeland does not deter a bipartisan approach to eradicating crime. Unfortunately, as 2018 closed there were signs of a desire for political gains, deterring the possibility for the political leaders to meet and decide on a common strategy to make the nation safer. National security applies to people of each and every political persuasion.

Hope for more racial tolerance

There’s also preponderance of hope that in the racial and ethnic diverse communities in America, there will be more acceptance of each race by the others. People, at least most people, have grown weary and frustrated of the blatant racism gnawing away at communities. It’s hoped that in 2019 the troubling incidents of people of one race assuming they are superior to another race will diminish.

People of every race should be allowed to share in all the common activities expected in a society without being discriminated against because of their color, religion or country of birth.

Hope for acceptance of immigrants

There’s also hope that the leaders of the United States will be more tolerant and accepting of people immigrating from other countries. The raucous debate and controversy over immigration in recent years, has created fear, insecurity and a sense of being marginalized among  America’s very large immigrant community. The sense of insecurity extends to undocumented and documented immigrants, and even those fortunate and privileged to be approved as American citizens

America should have a sound immigration policy. But, it is hoped in 2019, good sense will prevail. Tthose responsible for creating immigration policy should structure a fair, conscientious, and pragmatic immigration policy that’s beneficial and acceptable to the general American society, the immigrant community, and those seeking to enter America as new residents.

Writing on the first pages of the new notebook of 2019, the common theme in hoping for more agreeable politics, racial and ethnic tolerance, and an acceptable immigration policy is a more unified society. The year begins with hope for more unity and people will likely continuing hoping for more unity each of the 365 days. A less divided society, and the individuals within it, will accomplish more if people despite being of different political views, different races, and from different countries, can coexist in relative harmony.

The community is urged to take the advice of the Arabian poet. Don’t carry the failures of the past into 2019.

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