Let’s Make 2016 a Great Year—A Year of Hope!

I am very hopeful for 2016. I see progress in the three areas that must be improved in the world if we are to have peace and prosperity for all. The three crucial areas are: the liberation of women, the eradication of poverty, and the inclusion of disadvantaged children in education.

Liberation of Women

Liberation_of_Women

Women find liberation.

As a sign for the liberation of women, consider that in many countries today, women are presenting themselves as viable candidates for the highest political, professional, and cultural offices. Another sign of equality of women is that women are now in complete equality with men in the US military. According to a statement from the US Department of Defense (December 2015), women are now

allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat.  They’ll be able to serve as Army rangers and green berets, Navy SEALS, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men.

I think this is good news for two reasons: First, this is a confirmation of a basic tenet of the back-to-the-body perspective, which is the view that I propose in this blog: humans, of either gender, have a stomach, a brain, and a heart. Hence, all humans are created equal.

My second reason is equally important: I see the full inclusion of women in the military as a sign that the military is changing its mission in the world–from a mission of “search and destroy,” to a mission of “rescue and help.” For example, the military can be used for quick deployment to disaster areas of the world following hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and such natural events.

Eradication of Poverty

poverty

World poverty is decreasing.

As a sign for the eradication of poverty, consider the trend toward lessening poverty in the world. According to the United Nations “Millennium Development Goals Report” (2015), “in 1990, nearly half of the population in the developing world lived on less than $1.25 a day; that proportion dropped to 14 per cent in 2015” (p. 4). I think we will do even better, and the trend is leading toward improvement. This means that there are kids in India, Bangladesh, China, Nigeria, and the Republic of the Congo that now have a better chance to live and prosper.

Inclusion in Education

As a sign of the inclusion of disadvantaged children in education, just days ago we had great news. With bipartisan support, the US Congress has approved legislation for education reform. The trend in education is to be more inclusive, so that no child is abandoned.

education_for_all

Education reaches all.

In fact, at the very dawn of our 21st century (2001), the US Government issued the No Child Left Behind Act, which was an attempt to help disadvantaged children reach a good level of education and prepare for college or a career. The Act’s intention was good, but legislation is a blunt instrument, and the No Child Left Behind has now been replaced with new legislation: ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act (December 2015).

With the Every Student Succeeds Act, individual States have more say on their education policies. I think educators all over the country are breathing more freely with this new legislation. The opportunities are endless, and I am very hopeful that the new year of 2016 will bring us great development.

Women_at_Well

Women are the pulsating heart of a community.

This is good news for the forgotten, abandoned children of poverty. The abandoned children are finally coming home and finding a place at the table.

And this is rightly so. We can no longer look at children as rejects of the religious providential process or collateral damage of the economic system. It is time to bring the abandoned children back home, and 2016 is a good year for that to happen.

To all my friends and family, I extend my effusive wishes of a very Happy New Year, filled with blossoms of hope and joy.

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
December 31, 2015

Women find freedom. Author: Brenda Clarke. Source: http://bit.ly/1RbnMDZ. Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Liberation of Women. Author: Alice Popkorn. Source: http://bit.ly/1Sola6E. Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Child poverty. Author: sWITI fONTANILLA. Source: http://bit.ly/1IGnKmD. Creative Commons License: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Education in poor areas. Author: World Bank Photo Collection. Source: http://bit.ly/1Pz4mcj. Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Women at the Well. Author: PROAdam Jones; Source: http://bit.ly/1OAtgJO .  Creative Commons License: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) .

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