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PACIFIC DAILY NEWS
December 31, 2008
Change can’t occur without action
A. Gaffar Peang-Meth, Ph.D.
The year’s last day. Tomorrow we will awaken to the new year, 2009!
There were many things “wrong” with 2008. But no amount of money, no volume of words, no mountain of compassion can change what has occurred. We can learn from the past, but we mustn’t live there. A Sanskrit proverb says, “Yesterday is but a dream” and “tomorrow is only a vision.”
Tomorrow, the first day of the new, and hopefully with heaven’s help, improved 2009, will be upon us. It is we, with our qualities and frailties, who will or won’t make 2009 a different year. We can only ask God for help.
Many of us have compiled the annual list of New Year’s resolutions. Most of those are probably familiar commitments, recycled from past years’ versions.
The French say, “Man proposes, God disposes.” But humans tend to talk the talk but not walk the talk, to want something but not make steps to attain it with serious commitment, consistency and perseverance.
German-born American physicist Albert Einstein reminded, “Information is not knowledge,” and German playwright Johann von Goethe posited, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
And Asia’s great thinker, Confucius, said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance,” and “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find some time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”