As I write this on New Year’s Day, I’m thinking about my wishes for the coming year. First and foremost, I wish for world peace — that the world’s hot spots cool down and the countries involved settle differences in a peaceful manner. I wish the same for political parties here in the United States. I’m sick of all this needless partisan bickering. Our schools need to teach a better understanding of the difference between truth and fiction or out-and-out lies. Too many people seem unable to recognize these distinctions and base their voting choices on totally inaccurate information. I sometimes wonder where they went to school and how well they learned their lessons. While I don’t believe in having literacy as a condition of being able to vote, it still galls me that the rest of us are too much at the mercy of so many ignoramuses.
When I wish for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, my wish is for the whole world. We are truly in this mess together and it won’t go away until the world deals with it as whole. We are going to need to work together to stop its continuing spread.
Another problem we need to solve is worldwide hunger. This exists not only in the poorest countries but, to some extent in all countries including our own. Finding a solution can’t be a one-time thing. Rather, the need for food is a lifelong continuous issue, not only for humans but other living beings as well. This involves land-use planning, supply storage, crop choices and many similar issues to assure a balanced diet needed for healthy living, not only for today but into the future. My wish for this issue is that we take our responsibility seriously and work together to assure an adequate food supply for all needs not only now but into the future.
Another wish is that we are able to find affordable cures for the many worldwide diseases and health problems. In some cases, this means ensuring an adequate supply of the foods for a balanced diet. This also means training adequate numbers of health care workers so all who need specialized care have access to it.
I also wish more people would take our environmental issues seriously. Locally, that means more people would pay attention to Pullman’s falling water table and do more to conserve water. Several years ago, I took out my lawn and replaced It with gravel so I am no longer watering a lawn. I put in drip irrigation on most of my beds that have flowers and shrubs. The system is on a timer. I cringe when I see folks washing their cars and leaving the hose running the entire process.
I wish someone would find a better way to distribute goods or services that don’t involve long lines of cars waiting for a long time with their motors running. Turning engines on and off repeatedly is just as wasteful of fuel. Surely, they could make better arrangements for such distribution to avoid this waste.
I wish PBS would do some reruns of some of the old black and white series like “Upstairs, Downstairs.” I really enjoyed that series and I’m sure I could think of some others I’d like to see again someday. I’m grateful they are redoing “All Creatures Great and Small.” I enjoyed both the books and the television version. They bring back loads of memories. I also like the shows that feature places I’ve visited. Now that I’m 90, I do all my travel vicariously, and I’m grateful for the opportunity that television gives me. It offers me a chance to feel part of the world again and see and visit places I’ve never been before.
With all the snow on the ground, sitting here in my dining room facing the window, I have another way to stay part of the world again too as I watch the world around me go by.
Harding lives in Pullman and is a longtime League of Women Voters member. She also has served on the Gladish Community and Cultural Center board. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.