The New Year is the season of renewal and a time of commitment, a time to colour our own lives with shades of harmony and hope.
If the Creator had one message for us it would be: All this I have created for you, take pause and reflect; do not corrupt or make desolate your world — if you do, there is no one to set it right after you.
The message is simple: “We are all responsible”, not only for natural ecology but also for the intricate web of humanity.
An Ojibway prayer runs like this: “Grandfather, look at our brokenness, we know that in all creation/ Only the human family/ Has strayed from the Sacred Way./ We know that we are the ones who are divided/ And we are the ones/ Who must come back together/ To walk the Sacred Way/ Grandfather, Sacred One, Teach us love, compassion and honour/ That we may heal the earth/ And heal each other”.
In the New Year we could pray with a heart filled with infinite gratitude and ask: Dear Creator, receive our prayers; and grant us both perception and knowledge of the things we ought to do, also the grace and energy to accomplish them.
Bless our centres of learning; may knowledge and sound learning flourish and abound in them, inspire all who teach and all who learn to seek wisdom to consoli-date the web of humanity.
Direct holders of religious mantles — swamis, sadhus, mullahs, priests, pastors, rabbis, dasturs, munis — to invite those in their fold not to embrace themselves while excluding others.
Help them to see those of other faiths not as different but the same in the gift of humanness that You so lovingly have bestowed on every soul that breathes.
Kindle in every heart true love of peace, and guide those who occupy places of power that free from limited perception, in quietness and equanimity they may make decisions that fill the earth with justice, prosperity and harmony, service and sustainability.
Let us see in the coming year on our TV screens news of the end of the reign of terror in Iraq, a fresh lease for the helpless in Darfur; reconciliation between factions in Sri Lanka; a return to negotiations and a just settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.
And help this nation strive towards inclusion and dignity for the Dalits, a just solution for all in Kashmir, a better life for those displaced in the name of progress.
Nothing prevents us from dreaming that we shall succeed through imagining a world where all beings live in harmony, free from fear.
And may all share in the blessings springing from the good that will be done. And let us remember that inner peace is a necessary condition to make peace with those around us.
From there it spreads to the family, to the neighbour, to the nation and to the world. In J Krishnamurti’s words: “If we know how to look at violence, not only outwardly in society — the wars, the riots, the national antagonism and class conflicts — but also in ourselves, then perhaps we shall be able to go beyond it”.
Writer Elaine Wilson hopes that when we meet, we would greet each other, recognising beyond the tribal and the kinship tie, a shared humanity — our diversity bound by the mortar of solidarity.
May all be peaceful and happy/ May all be free from ignorance/ May all be free from conflicts/ May all be filled with infi-nite compassion and composure.