Celebrate a new year with the same problems!

Do resolutions really change anything?

Celebrate a new year with the same problems!

Every New Year, people come up with their New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, cuss less, exercise more, eat healthier, etc. I guess the logic is “new year, new me.”

It’s questionable exactly how many New Year’s resolutions are successful. Half the time, it’s not “new year, new me,” but rather “new year, same story.”

The same goes for the world as a whole. Millions celebrated the coming of 2015, as if the world would hit a reset button. As if people could party the night away, get drunk, and when they woke up the next morning, the world would be a better place.

If only that were the case. Of course, 2015 is a new year, but the human race still has the same problems it did in 2014. Millions of people are still hungry. Millions are still homeless. Ebola is still ravaging West Africa.

The Islamic State is still a cancer in the heart of the Middle East, killing thousands of innocent people. Ukraine is still divided in two by an increasingly costly and lengthy war. The Syrian civil war is entering its fourth year, with over 200,000 dead. Even though NATO pulled out of Afghanistan after 13 years, it doesn’t change the fact that the Taliban is still killing civilians.

The bottom line is, the only thing that changed is the date on the calendar. Why is the New Year a reason to celebrate and party? Yet another year of hunger, war, disease, and suffering?

Pope Francis declared that January 1st, 2015, be a World Day of Peace. As much as I like Pope Francis, and as good as his intentions were, the “World Day of Peace” was just a symbolic gesture that held no water. On the World Day of Peace, ISIS didn’t stop killing. The Mexican drug cartels didn’t stop killing, and the Taliban didn’t stop murdering civilians. There was no pause in the wars in Ukraine and Syria.

The way I see it, the New Year didn’t change anything. It’s a new year with old problems. I don’t believe in the cheery optimism, but I’m not a complete pessimist either. I consider myself a realist. Maybe, just maybe, things can change this year.

Maybe 2015 will be a great year. It could be the year AIDS and cancer are cured. Ebola could finally be stopped. Maybe Ukraine can be reunited, ISIS destroyed, and the Syrian civil war ended.

We still have a long 2015 ahead of us. We can only hope and pray that we have plenty of reasons to celebrate a good 2015.