So, today we’re falling back an hour for the year. It’s a moment that reminds me of an anecdote from Mary Hipsher’s “The Middle of Everywhere,” where a refugee woman complains that ‘You Americans make time so complicated!’ That or the Bangles remix of Simon and Garfunkle’s Hazy Shade of Winter.
On a more serious note, we’re fast approaching the year 2555, the Year of the Nak, and hopefully this will be a year filled with prosperity and good humor, given the 555. Will it be a year that laughs with us, or laughs at us? Will we be organized enough by April to usher in the year with great energy and to recognize all of the best that’s been and is yet ahead? What can we hope for, closing out the old year, as key benchmarks for our expectations of ourselves?
There’s moment from the 20th Century when Henry Kissinger asked Chou Enlai what he thought of the French Revolution and Chou Enlai replied, ‘It’s too soon to tell.’
Since then, it’s been pointed out this wasn’t as profound as we’d all thought- that the Chinese had some majestic sense of vision that spanned across centuries. Chou Enlai was merely referring to a student protest earlier that year. But perhaps we can still learn from what we admired of such a concept, and stop being short-sighted with our day to day goals and visions.
It’s not some sprawling, uncountable number of Lao households in our cities or even our state. We can project with some degree of certainty who will be with us for the next few years to come, when their children will be getting ready to graduate, who will be getting ready to retire, who will need to be looking for jobs out of school. Perhaps not absolutely, of course. Time and Fate will often overturn the best applecarts of humanity. But that doesn’t mean we have license not to take one another into account and to do what we can to help each other to the best our paths might take us.
In a matter of three years, it will be 40 years since the end of the war for Laos. But even more than that, we will be less than 10 years away from recognizing almost 50 years without Laos being engaged in a major conflict with another nation. Can we then reach 100 in by the year 2075, (or 2618, depending on how you’re counting.) It’s only 20,366 days to go.
Make the most of that time!