The Chinese have an old saying “May you live in interesting times” I dare say most of us find these times more interesting then we’d like. It is my fervent hope that all of you and your families are weathering the current storms and are holding up well, despite these trying economic conditions. One could spend days discussing how we got into this mess, but I believe the most productive thing we can do right now, is to band together to pull our cart out of the mud, so to speak.
When I was another young guy with a guitar, hitchhiking across North America in the early 60s, our country was far from perfect, with our founding fathers promises yet to be full filled, but there was a sense that we were on the move “to a more perfect Union” and most importantly THAT WE WERE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. It may have been a feeling shared mainly by the younger generation but it rippled throughout the land and held out hope for better and more equitable times to come. Regardless of the ups and downs of the decades that followed, if there ever was a time when we needed to regain that team spirit and to discard the “every man for him self” mindset, in order to head our nation towards a brighter future, it is now. For in the worlds of another proverb “Unless we change direction, we are bound to end up where we are headed” and right now we’re headed towards even more chaos.
My daughter in Portland tells me people there are bringing food and clothes to the homeless, to help them get through the cold, snowy nights. I hope it’s just a small indication of how we as people and a nation will look after those amongst us who now desperately need our “brotherly love”. No one has a monopoly on compassion but often the poorest of the poor are the most generous in sharing what precious little – usually food - they have, for they know hunger and destitution all too well. I’ve seen this generosity in South East Asia and Africa and I know it’s common in our part of the world as well. But those with the least should not have to fend for themselves and also look after their neighbors. I believe that to be everybody’s job. I know many, if not most, are spending less this season because of the uncertain times etc. but perhaps we can take a few of the dollars saved and apply them to the food banks, shelters, neighbors and others who are now in greater need than they’ve been for many years.
While I’m on the subject of generosity, I’d like to thank those of you who donated to the Maue Kay Foundation this year. Rest assured that every dollar you contributed will be put to good use. I was also glad to learn that many of you were pleased with how the “Rock’ n Roll Odyssey” DVD turned out. We could have turned our story into a “Gone With The Wind -Part III”, six hour long project – which I know some of you would not have minded at all – but that would have taken even more months, if not years. You had been waiting more than long enough as it was.
It has been snowing here the last few hours, turning our neighborhood into the “Winter Wonderland” we hear about in song ever year at this time, which brings to mind the coming Holidays. May your families be united for the festivities and share a warm, peaceful, joyful celebration and may the new year be kind to our fragile small planet and all – man and beast - who call it home.