Firstly, I wish you well for this year and always.
But secondly, and mainly, there is much room for concern - and hope - for what may transpire in 2016. Everywhere we hear of disaster and considerable suffering, and as if Climate Change and the world-wide flooding isn't enough, with terrorism and Daesh continuing to keep us occupied, we now have the news of the plight of 40,000 inhabitants of the Syrian village of Madaya in Syria. This village is under siege by allies of Sadat and its inhabitants are quietly dieing of hunger. They are surrounded by mines and also get shot if they try to leave. No-one - apparently - cares.
We in the west (particularly those that are already materially well endowed) seem convinced that these are all temporary issues that will pass over so that we can just get on with what we've always been doing - making money and trying to be better off than the rest.
Friends, that concept is one that should be consigned to the history books. The times now (and this is where the "hope" lies) call for a different and more self-controlled way of living. A way of living that is geared to true reality rather than the concept that there's more to be had, and to be taken. But a way of living that reflects care towards ourselves and others.
The catastrophic flooding in the north of the UK has brought to light many outstanding qualities in people - and we need more of that in these changed times.
We should look for leaders that have a strong moral bearing, not ones that pander to vested interests and the banks and the media. We need leaders to organise us to use the resources we have more caringly, sparingly and for the benefit of all, not just the few. That goes for all, the rich included - in fact, mainly the rich.
We - in turn - should be more prepared to impose self-discipline on ourselves, not just in terms of obeying the law but also in what we consume. A great many of us are treating ourselves irreverently - we can't be respecting ourselves (can we?) if we go out bingeing and eating as though it matters not. "Let's just enjoy the moment" many say - but at what cost, to ourselves and to the NHS?
The year 2016 is the year - I hope - that will bring about a reversal of attitudes. Selfishness has reached its zenith. Generosity and whole-heartedness must now replace it. And those in the best position to demonstrate those qualities should be the first to show the example - especially the politicians and the bankers ... and the media. But if they can't then we should all still make the effort.
Please make your stand for these values.
I wish you well. Serve all, love all.
From the "Septuagenarian Brummie".