The year 2005 is coming to an end and there are signs of hope in the horizon. In the midst of violence, the conscience of the world is awakening. Nature itself has contributed to alert us that matters are reaching a point of no return.

Instead of feeling defeated by the accumulation of sorrow and tragedies, we could look at the compassion and love shown every place where tragedy has hit the lives of people.

Even though bad times bring out the best and the worse in people, I believe that this year more individuals felt compelled to give a personal response to the suffering of others.

The war in Iraq has not stopped. The survivors from Katrina will be affected for many years to come. At this point the four missing CPT members continue to be captive. We could continue on and on about the many wrongs in today’s world.

Nevertheless, more and more people have organized themselves to protest about the war and its consequences. There is awareness now about the relationship between the ways of life in the North, and how that has affected the way of life, turning it into death in the South.

The need for more gas and oil makes us dependent of markets that are been controlled by military means. That way of oppression will eventually bring retaliation. This is a small-interconnected planet and only now we have started to realize what the indigenous people from several regions have known for centuries. For them, savage are the human beings who violate the laws of nature. We have not been very good students, but finally we are beginning to understand that talking about the environment is not enough. We have to look at our daily life with new eyes. We have to discover new ways of doing things and this year has been an opportunity to think and grow.

Katrina showed us how we had ruined the environment in such a way that it cannot be easily repaired. The lives of individuals who were hurt by the tragedy have also been broken by years of abuse and neglect. We suddenly realized that there were hurt people everywhere and we just did not know about it.

The caring acts at the time of Katrina’s tragedy have started an irreversible process of questioning a system that let situations like this happened. It is the same conscience that is asking now to stop the war and violence generated by the forces of globalization, accumulation and greed.

Therefore there is hope that the New Year 2006 will give us new sources of learning and growing.