While we enjoy the end of the year and the various festivities that accompany it, it is perhaps also the time to take a few moments and think back. The past year has brought many wonderful things (free Opera -- who would've thought of it? ), but it has also wrought havoc in several places across the world.
Mother Nature claimed the year to reassert her dominance over the world, and shatter the illusion us humans had of controlling it. The Boxing Day tsunami almost exactly a year ago that literally rocked the world, the hurricanes in the Carribbean and southern USA, the floods in Mumbai and south India and the earthquake in north-east Pakistan and north-west India were all stark reminders of how helpless we are when the earth unleashes some of its fury at the way we have been treating it for the past several generations. It is time to remember the lives lost, the damage incurred.
It is also time to thank those who came forward in the time of need to help their fellow humanity. Charitable organizations as well as philanthropic individuals across the world gave generously of their money and even personal, physical effort; and we should be grateful to all of them.
And while it may be beyond our means to donate money or physically travel to the disaster zone to help, we can still do something in our own way. For the web-savvy amongst us, there is The World-Wide Help Group -- a voluntary newsgroup and rallying point for power bloggers, wiki experts, database adepts, etc, for calls to action and volunteers to provide information post-disasters. It is a commendable effort to harness the goodwill, the togetherness, the willingness to help expressed by blog writers and readers over the last year, and we should do our best to make it a success.