“Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall.

Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day.

Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down.

And this is all that life really means.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

Greeting and salutations! If you are now reading this column, congratulations are in order. You have just received the bonus of a New Year. If we receive the same gift, we hope to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. But we will not make any elaborate plans. Somehow it seems much more exciting to just jump in, not knowing what’s ahead, to “go with the flow.”

Contemplating the above quote by Stevenson gives one great pause for reflection, particularly considering the disasters of last year. Perhaps before proceeding with any new agendas, it would be a good idea to review the past year, put it in perspective and then file it away under “lessons learned.”

The 1993 year in Canadian politics was particularly disturbing, especially since all the Conservative party received through their shenanigans was “Campbell Soup.” Anyway, it’s somewhat encouraging that now that we’ve hit rock bottom there is nowhere to go but up.

Pro-lifers were hit particularly hard this past year, constantly battling the politically-correct garbage that permeates our daily media. In British Columbia the struggle continues to fight against a government which puts human life at the bottom of its list.

Onslaught of unsolicited criticism and interference from those who have no better ideas of how to improve the human condition.

Gee! It becomes downright depressing just thinking of how much society has changed and how little control we as parents seem to have on a system that has rapidly joined the New Age mysticism. One has to wonder how long it will be before the majority of Canadians (Christians comprise 80% of the population) wake up and start realizing it is time to get up off their knees and do something more than just pray for a miracle. Mind you, we are not knocking prayer, God knows we need all we can get. But it is time to get off our duffs and speak up in the name of Life.

Life too is a prayer and everyday in some small way we receive a chance to redeem ourselves. Do we accept the challenge to speak up and risk rebuke? Or are we so afraid of the consequences that we remain silent when we should be speaking up? And, yes, we do become frustrated, thinking that it’s time “someone” did something to change the evil invading our lives. But we all are someone, aren’t we? Just how many chances are we going to get?

As we enter the New Year with renewed hope and much anticipation, our resolution will dwindle like the good intentions that never saw the light of day.

Well maybe we should just forge ahead and leave the rest to a higher power who knows the way we have not yet discovered. Every once in a while, we should pause to consider the words of Stevenson, whose life was full of hardship and yet he left his great gift of literature to the generations that followed. What an unselfish act. His words still touch the world.

We are beginning to see more clearly now that the smoke has gone. Rosemary and I would like to wish all of you the very best in the New Year and thank you for your kind thoughts, generosity and very special prayers. Oh, and by the way, together we can defeat the evil. After all, because of you we too may have received that very special bonus!

(Recently, Paul and his wife Rosemary experienced two separate smoke bomb attacks on their Vancouver home.)