L'Shanah Tovah! (Happy New Year!) Same as the Old Year... or Is It?

ALPERN AT LARGE--Whether you're Jewish or not, I wish you all a Happy, Healthy New Year.  Always a time to reflect, review and restore our goals and outlook with respect our lives, our community, our nation, and our world.  So much has changed, and so much remains the same...so why do I get the idea that things are about to undergo some serious Change? 

The middle class is getting squeezed, and is either being forced to work harder or fall into poverty...nothing new, as horrible as that whole subject is. 

Racial tensions are high, but the hope for unity still persists yet remains elusive...nothing new, as exasperating as that whole subject is. 

Health care costs are going up, and the outrage over the causes and solutions for that problem is as loud as ever...nothing new, as politically touchy as that whole subject is. 

Corruption, insider politics, and "the swamp" in Sacramento and/or Washington is as hated as ever...nothing new, as despicable as that whole subject is. 

Weather concerns, and infrastructure repair/improvements are high on people's minds...nothing new, as controversial as that whole subject is. 

A lack of proper, grounded education, and a lack of practical and technical skills being taught to our children, is of great concern to parents...nothing new, as alarming as that whole subject is. 

Traffic, job and family stress, a lack of sleep and technology's increasing inability for us to interact with our fellow human beings is on the rise...nothing new, as disconcerting as that whole subject is. 

Middle East peace and associated terrorism, to say nothing of the risk of a Third World War starting between Israel and Iran, is as threatening as ever...nothing new, as scary as that whole subject is. 

North Korea and the West (particularly the United States) are on a collision course with the risk of a confrontation that might include nuclear weapons...nothing new, as frightening as that whole subject is. 

The Democratic and Republican Parties can't seem to get along, and the red/blue divide is as wide as ever ... nothing new, as aggravating as that whole subject is. 

So ... 

... why is that it appears we're on the cusp of a few major turning points in our social, economic, and political reality?  Why does it seem that we're approaching a boiling point where things might finally spin out of control? 

Or is it just the same tooling we're getting from the New vs. the Old Media, or the Alternate vs. the Mainstream Media? 

Either way, the courage to remain calm is certainly as vital and necessary as we've ever needed in our nation's, and our world's, history. 

Happy Jewish New Year.  Enjoy a good meal with your family (especially if you're planning to fast on Yom Kippur a week from this Friday night), and take some time to do something nice and fun with your beloved family. 

Because the world will still keep spinning, and rotating around the sun, and the sun will keep rotating around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Galaxy will keep doing its explosive leap from its "Let There Be Life" associated with its Big Bang origin. 

Happy Jewish New Year.  There are Bigger Things afoot, with a Watcher and a Maker who loves us all. Make Him/Her proud.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at alpern@marvista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)