Posted by: Brenda Kula | January 1, 2008

New Year Thoughts

So it is a new year. I will of course write quite a few checks before I get the year straight, in my usual single-minded fashion. It takes awhile to sink in. That the world keeps churning; the calendar keeps turning.

And so 2007 was wrought with imports that put us in a panic. There was the pet food scare. I wrote a lot of big people over that one. Complained to public officials. Said that I for one would be happy to pay more for pet food if it was better regulated. That one faded, but pet lovers are a big segment of society today. We treat pets as children, and as so emphatically insist on their rights and health. And so we will remain at least somewhat vigilant, and unite as we did online earlier in the year. I met a lot of people from other parts of the country on this particular issue, via message boards, etc.

Then it was children’s toys, not to mention our produce, which we’re told is healthy eating. I have a four year old grandson. And my angst this Christmas was not how much or what to get him. It was: can this toy harm him? If you’d told me a year ago I would have to worry about that, I’d have scoffed. Pets and children. How much more innocent a segment of our population can be so affected?

We become complacent. Certain that out there somewhere, somehow, there is a sort of unbreachable sentry at our borders, ever vigilant to every product that enters our country. As if each and every box of toys or pet food could get inspected. Did we think they actually opened the bags of pet food and let a police dog sniff its contents for possible poison or other contaminants? Did we think there was actually a way to ensure the safety of every one of our children’s toys?

When I was a kid, we worried about polio, rabid dogs and the subsequent stomach shots, a bomb blasting our nation off the map, discarded refrigerators that curious children hid in and never came out of. It is a vastly different world. But then that’s how you know you’re getting on up there. When you start complaining about the current vogue of music, the newfangled technical gadgets that look so complicated and come with so little instruction. The fact that the instructions do not even come in a language you can read.

No resolutions for me. I figure if I can’t come up with new ways to change on a normal day, then the changing of the calendar won’t better enforce my actions. I’m not going to sit down and write out a bunch of profound statements on paper I won’t even be able to find in a month.

I will wonder who will become our next president. It’s not that far off now, you know. I will hope that whoever it is will bring about change that complements us as a nation instead of embarrasses us and makes us the butt of jokes around the world. I will hope the dollar increases in value. That our homes become the gold mines they once were, instead of mortgage traps that put some unfortunate souls out on the sidewalk.

I will hope there will be less soldiers coming home in body bags, and more mothers sleeping better at night, knowing their son or daughter is safe.   

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