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Posted December 7, 2011

An Excellent Way to get into the Christmas Spirit

By Father Eugene Hemrick

There have been times when I wished I had tuned out the news because of the economic, military, ecological and health woes it reports. So much in our world seems negative and outright frightening, leaving me to fear what our children's future will be.

Before losing hope, we need to reflect on the opportune moment presented by these woes.

As undesirable as the tight job market is, it is causing many industries and their employees to redefine and retool themselves in order to become more efficient, effective and appreciative. Having job security is no longer certain, and we are beginning to realize that going smaller and accepting less has advantages.

In the field of health care, we are seeing the emergence of better sharing of information and the restructuring of hospital environments that are essential to patients' quick recovery.

As wonderful as the automobile is, it needed dramatic restructuring. The auto industry meltdown is causing the industry to rethink the car of the future: how to generate higher gas mileage, cleaner air and safer vehicles.

Thanks to people tightening their belts, we are experiencing the emergence of healthier living. More people have gardens, which is leading them to eat healthier and enjoy the taste of natural foods. More and more we are realizing that gluttonous eating habits and our highly preserved foods are our worst enemies.

The growing scarcity of energy and its rising costs are resulting in more energy-saving appliances. Thermostats are being lowered, better insulation is being installed and there is a heightened awareness of solar energy and wind power. This is to say nothing of the creative projects young university students are conceiving that are aimed at saving even more energy in the near future while adding to our comfort.

As undesirable as war is, a new way of fighting is being conceived that relies less on guns and more on diplomacy and reconstructing battered nations.

What is most encouraging is the new role education is playing in helping us to cope with our difficulties. We are learning that returning to the status quo is no longer desirable. Rather, we need to carve out a future unlike any before, to dream of new ideas and embrace a fresh entrepreneurial spirit.

The word "opportunity" comes from the word "port": Picture a ship with masts taking advantage of winds in order to sail safely into port. Although bad winds seem to be blowing, a second look at them reveals they present us with an opportunity for sailing us into new and exciting ports filled with beauty and hope.