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Lakkisetti Praveen, Hyderabad says,
Is your Hope still Alive?
By Lakkisetti Praveen
forum
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Hyderabad, Jan. 8. ``How shall we greet one another as 2009 dawns? `May you not fall a victim of a terrorist attack!` `May God protect you from the dangers of a living place like Kandhamal!` `May you be safe in a hospital!` `May God protect you in a train station!` Strange as it may sound, another wish or greeting too sounds appropriate: `May God protect us from our media!` (New Leader, January 1-15, 2009)

The New Year 2009 e-mail message I sent to all the addressees of my contact was the following: ``Let us remember the past with GRATITUDE, let us live the present with CONFIDENCE and let us look to the future with HOPE.`` There is something that struck my attention and purpose in penning these lines. My mind went back to the year that has gone into the annals of history - year 2008 not all that pleasant as we wished at its commencement. Cutting across all the fields and sections of the society, the year 2008 has been marked for its bad omens - of course not accidental but very much human made! Glancing through the year, though not late, year 2008 has left us many scars of hatred, violence and above all non-love. The examples and incidents are gallore. One could easily track back, with much ease, all that incidents that questioned the human survival and existence. The world in general and India in particular has witnessed shameful atrocities that made us bend our head in utter shame? The human being became the greatest enemy of the person.

If we are to pen down, all most all the months were marked with the incidents of violence like serial bomb blasts! The cover page of the last issue of `The Outlook` magazine beautifully captured the attention of its readers when it put the words `How to be happy in these gloomy times?`` That triggered a sense of oneness among all the people of various sections of the society! The common words of wish that flowed out from me at the start of the New Year 2009 was `I wish you a hope filled new year.` I firmly believe this. Biologically, we consider a person to be dead when one`s nervous and respiratory system fails. I say, a person is dead when his/her HOPE is dead or no more.

All the incidents of violence and hatred give a clarion call to all of us humans to make this world a better place to live in. The New Year calls us to sing new songs of hope, brotherhood and love. The New Year calls our attention to heal the world of its brokenness and hatred! The task is on all of us! Let not the scars of the past hinder our future hope! All the events that blurred the year 2008 with bloodshed may not creep into the New Year 2009! Let us join our hands to build a human-friendly society where the human being`s dignity is respected and where each person feels cared and loved! Let us keep the flame of HOPE alive with our kind gestures of love and kindness!

For this to be done and for the year 2009 to be a HOPE FILLED NEW YEAR we have A LOT PRAY A LOT. Only prayer and time could heal and bring about a change!

May this be the slogan and mantra all through the Year 2009!

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