Christmas: the victory of light over darkness

December 17th 2015 - 12:11

The end of the year is a time to get together with friends and family, to share food and drinks, and to celebrate the past, the present and the future. In recent years, however, many people have started looking ahead to the new year with anxiety. The many conflicts raging in the Ring of Instability surrounding Europe and the recent attacks on European soil have diminished their confidence that next year will be better than the last. But just as a few lights in the Christmas tree can beat the darkness and help us to see, a focus on positive developments in the world can help us to look ahead to a brighter future beyond the gloom of the daily headlines.

At HCSS, we certainly recognize that part of our world continues to be dangerous. But rather than just focusing on the ‘forces of evil’, we also continue to highlight the ‘forces for good’ that boost societal resilience, security and peace. In 2013, we did so with our Peace and Conflict Across Time’ poster. In 2014 we called attention to diversity as a factor that fosters more inclusive and secure societies. In some ways defending diversity is more important than striving for unity. 

In 2015, we looked at how ongoing trends such as democratization, financial inclusion, and educational opportunities all contribute to individual empowerment and thus to societal resilience and security. And we found that these trends are still going strong across the world: in spite of social differences and cultural cleavages, in spite of setbacks due to conflict, people around the world aspire to live prosperous and healthy lives. It all starts with a single farmer who can till his land and sell his harvest at the local market, or the girl who can safely walk the street to attend her school. These things sound self-evident but in many parts of the world they are not…yet. We have the means to empower the farmer and the girl, as well as millions of other people, so that one day they can live their lives like we do.

The HCSS team wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Paul Sinning
Executive Director 

Photo credit: gfred via / CC BY-NC-ND