Barbara Fish Counselling Services ... helping your life work

Helping Your Life Work

Volume 8, Issue 12

December, 2012

I seem to recall an end-of-year column in the local newspaper, highlighting the best good news stories from around the world. As far as I can remember, that column hasn’t been written in a few years and 2012 would not appear to be the best time to restart the tradition. Other than the Olympics and the discovery of the Higgs boson, this year seems particularly devoid of good news. In fact, much of it seems marred by violence and tragedy.

Did you know, for example, that 10,000,000 people died of hunger this year, most of them children? Or that there are 368 conflicts being waged in 60 countries worldwide? Women continue to be denied basic human rights in much of the world and are used as instruments of war, or chattel to be bartered and sold or sacrificed in the name of honour killings. And brave young women, like 15 year-old Pakistani, Malala Yousafzai, have fatwas placed on their heads, for having the temerity to want an education.

Closer to home, our communal safety has been challenged on too many occasions. In the last six months alone, gunfire has erupted in Toronto’s biggest shopping mall, a community barbeque in Scarborough, a movie theatre in Colorado, and at a primary school in Connecticut. A total of 44 have been killed and 87 injured.

As always happens when these sorts of things occur, there is a desperate search for clues and answers, anything to explain the tragedies. But there are never any simple explanations and certainly no easy solutions to the problems that beset us. In an ideal world, men and women would be born equal, both granted the rights to education, freedom and justice: all children would be loved and cared for in safe, nurturing and encouraging environments; young men would see other options in their futures aside from memberships in gangs bent on destroying those who challenge them and using weapons to assert themselves. Life would not seem so cheap.

In an ideal world, those tormented by serious mental health issues would have been identified at an early age and they and their parents would have been given the support, resources and tools to avoid the brewing storm that might be raging within. In an ideal world, people would find other solutions to feeling safe aside from buying more guns or suggesting that daycare workers and schoolteachers be armed with them.

But unfortunately, as much as we might wish otherwise, we live in a very flawed world. So we are left to try to figure out how to navigate it in a way that we can live our lives to the fullest, contribute the most, take the least and treat others as we would have them treat us, with kindness, generosity, intelligence and goodness.

Let’s hope for a better tomorrow and a year filled with much that we could celebrate this time next year.

Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”


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