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December 2015

To Freedom, Peace, Equality, Happiness and the Rule of Law

As another violent and eventful year draws to a close, humanity should seek to affirm a commitment to freedom, peace, equality, happiness and the rule of law, in 2016. 

While all efforts and resources to prevent a repeat of the violent terrorists attacks on Paris, France, last January and November, must be utilized, nonetheless, humanity should continue into 2016,  to work on eliminating the social, economic and political causes that give rise to radicalization.

The humanitarian blight that is the Syrian war perpetrated by Bashar al Assad and his regime upon the Syrian people, which has killed 250,000 people, displaced millions, while creating a refugee crisis at Europe's borders, should be solved in 2016.

The World in 2016 - the United States of America(USA)

On Tuesday, January 12, 2016, United States(US) President Barack Obama in his last State of the Union address before a joint session of the Congress, will proudly stand before the American people to confidently declare that the State of the Union that binds this great democracy,  is strong -  a fittingly and accurate assessment.

With a growing economy that has withstood the pressures of a behemoth world economic recession, President Obama could point to a falling unemployment rate as testimony of America's resurgence.

The World in 2016 - Europe

Europe enters 2016 with an emotion of fear from the reality of terrorism on the continent, with a moral obligation from the humanitarian value to domicile hundreds of thousands of displaced people, facing a stressed, but not fractured European Union(EU). Yet, the old World remains resolutely determined to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in 2016.

Severely victimized, pressured and tested in 2015 by heinous acts of terror upon Paris, France, ongoing extremist threats to the continent, Greek austerity actualities, a threat of the United Kingdom(UK) withdrawing from the EU, and witnessing an unprecedented migrant crisis, Europe clearly enters 2016 displaying an enduring character.

The World in 2016 - Asia

Defined by the rise ofChina, by sovereignty issues on the East and South China Seas, by the proliferation of trade from China,Malaysia,Singapore,India,Indonesia,South Korea,the PhilippinesandVietnam, by an evolving arms race to counter China's new-found power, by an unpredictable and searching Russia in the north, by rights issues within China,Myanmar and Thailand, and by the strong democracies ofAustraliaandNew Zealandin the south, modern Asia will continue a pivot to its own identity in 2016.

The World in 2016 - the Middle East

A region of complex affairs that are fueled by historical wrongs and revenge, hereditary rule and oil, sectarianism, religious ideology and land issues, the Middle East in 2016 will harbor some of the same conflicts of 2015 and of yesteryear, along with a strong likelihood of witnessing even more violence.

InSyria, the tragedy that is the Syrian war - now in its fifth-year, which has witnessed the humanitarian failing in the death of more than 250,000 people including thousands of children and civilians at the hands of Bashar al Assad's regime, and which has sent more than one million displaced Syrians to the borders of Europe, thus creating a refugee crisis, remains the biggest single destabilizing event in the Middle East.

The World in 2016 - Central and South America

The rich culture of the native peoples of the Americas, is abundantly captured throughout Central and South America. This colorful culture and traditions of the native peoples have managed to keep the two regions from decadence and flaring war in recent years. Yet, a stunning violent streak will continue into 2016 to pester nations like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where the murder rate is high - nudged upward, by drug wars and gangs as well as by tribal and land issues that remain hot issues.

Of Peace...

Peace is a tenet of life, liberty, prosperity and happiness. 

Therefore on this Christmas Day 2015 - a revered day to Christians and to many across the globe, I beg for peace and to immediate ceasefires from conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Libya, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Congo, Thailand, Burundi, Burkina Faso and in all places under the sun.


A Prayer for the Children of Conflicts - the Displaced, the Refugees, the Stateless

Dearest Father, Most Holy, Almighty God,

Before you through whom all things are possible, I bow in total submission to you to humbly beg for relief, comfort and peace to all of the world's children, especially to all those tendered-hearts effected by wars, conflicts and hardships.

From Syria to Central African Republic, to Ukraine to Sudan and South Sudan, to Yemen, to Myanmar, to Burkina Faso and Burundi, to Yemen, to Chad to Palestine and Afghanistan, to Somalia, to Nigeria, to Congo, to Angola, to Thailand and Iraq, I pray that you console and protect the well being and welfare of all the children.

The World in 2016 - the Caribbean

If there is but one region in the developing world where peace could be expected at any given time and ascertained as true most of the time - that region remains the Caribbean.

Factors giving rise to this Caribbean normalcy include the permanent warmth of the tropics - complemented by pristine white-sand beaches, the flat-water turquoise Caribbean Sea on western coasts, the mystical rolling waters of the Atlantic Ocean on eastern shores, the spirits of refreshments refined from local sugarcane and the easy-going friendly smiles and hospitality of the Caribbean people, comprising English, French, Dutch and Spanish speakers.

The World in 2016 - Canada and Mexico

CANADA:

My two younger sons - ages eight and ten, embraced and enjoyed Toronto, Canada, this past summer. Along with the hive of activities surrounding the Pan American Games and the celebratory Caribana Festival, it was the familiar good quality of life offered in Toronto that attracted my boys. 

From the childish play, games and rides of Centre Island; to the history, education and culture of the Royal Ontario Museum(ROM); to the technology of the CN Tower; to the entertainment and shopping at Kensington Market; to the urban feel of streetcar transportation along Dundas Street; to the openness of calls of the wild at the Toronto Zoo in a suburb; and to the pampering of flyers by Porter Airlines at the new pedestrian accessible air terminal downtown, Toronto; as a measure of comfort and civil living for all of Canada, Toronto looked good.