new year

Hope springs from the beginning of every New Year, but at the same time, it also brings fears.

Fears of misfortunes, calamities and disasters in the months ahead are, of course, the results of negative thinking, if not a paranoid mind. On the other hand, hopes for better things to come in the future are the products of positive thinking and a happy view of life.

Regarding negative thoughts, though, there is one possible scenario that alarms us no end. It is the specter of a possible nuclear war between the United States of America and North Korea.

And this is not a case of extreme paranoia. Proof is the recent exchange of threats between US President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jung-On. The young North Korean strongman had said the nuclear button is always on his desk. This means that at any time he can fire an intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear warheads at any city in the United States.

But President Trump can never be bullied or intimidated. He fired back, saying that he has a bigger nuclear button and that his nuclear button works.

The exchange of threats is so scary that it prompted former US Vice President Joe Biden to comment that a nuclear war is not some sort of a video game. Just one nuclear bomb could kill millions of people and turn the bombed city uninhabitable for 100 years.

We get nothing good from negative thinking, and so we may just as well think positively to enable us to look at the future with hope.

Personally, I hope and pray that this New Year, I and my family will be blessed with good health – physically, emotionally and mentally. It is better to be healthy than wealthy. But, of course, it is much better to be both healthy and wealthy.

For the Filipino community in Michigan, I hope and pray that there will be more happy events that can enhance camaraderie and good relations. I hope that the leaders of Filipino-American organizations, especially FILAMCCO and PACCM, will discharge their duties faithfully and diligently.

I hope and pray that there will be no more shocking and depressing news reports about fellow Filipinos and Filipino Americans. (One such report is about the court conviction of some people for Medicare fraud.)

I hope and pray that more young Filipino Americans will appreciate and embrace Filipino culture, values and traditions. On this subject, I hope that Paaralang Pilipino will draw more students this year.

I hope and pray that quarrelling community leaders will be able to reconcile their differences and embrace each other again in the spirit of Christian brotherhood and good filial relations.

For the Philippines, I hope and pray that the campaign against illegal drugs will be done humanely and that there will be no more extrajudicial killings.

I hope and pray that there will be less incidents of killer fires, road accidents and floods.

I hope and pray that the drive against corrupt government officials will be waged without let-up and without fear or favor.

I hope and pray that Philippine policemen will not be brutal and lawless to the powerless and will not forget that in the afterlife they will face divine justice.

I hope and pray that the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines will stop their war of attrition and resume their stalled negotiations for lasting peace. There is no sense of a war that pits Filipinos against fellow Filipinos.

I hope and pray that there will be less typhoons and other calamities that dislocate people, particularly farmers and fishermen.

I hope and pray that Metro Manila government authorities succeed in their efforts to improve vehicular traffic in the metropolis.

Actually, all the things we hope and pray for are problems that have bothered us for years and caused us endless worries. But if we have faith in God, these things should not bother us at all. Our Lord Jesus says, “Don’t let your heart be troubled; have faith in me and in God.”