I don't know the person who doesn't like to see the new year as an opportunity to move their life in a much more abundant direction. People use many different tactics to symbolize a new direction, new energy, and a positive course of action. For me, I always start out each new year by thinking of three critical historical events that took place in January that have had a profound impact on my life, and the lives of millions of people. The first of those events is the Cuban Revolution which celebrated it's 52 anniversary on January 1st. Regardless of what you know or don't know about Cuba, the undeniable facts are if you compare the lives of the people there to the lives of the people in neighboring Haiti, Jamaica, or Puerto Rico, there is no comparison that the people in Cuba enjoy a much higher quality of life under their socialist system. People often use issues such as racism, homophobia, and sexism to discredit the Cuban Revolution, forgetting that those were problems there long before the revolution and that there is an overwhelming strong argument that the revolution has improved the attitude and practics around those issues in an accelerated fashion. Cuba serves as an example of moving humanity forward to me, in spite of their shortcomings and they give me inspiration to continue to fighting for a better world...A socialist world. The second and third events occurred on the same day. January 17th is the infamous day in which both Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Central Africa, and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter and John Huggins of the L.A. Black Panther Party chapter, were murdered at Campbell hall in UCLA. Lumumba represented the excitement and potential of the Congo and all of Africa when he was elected as the Congo's new Prime Minister in 1960. The desire of his Congolese National Movement was to take the massive mineral wealth of the Congo, the diamonds, uranium, gold, etc., and use that to empower the Congolese people in particular and Africa in general. The Central Intelligence Agency, in conjunction with Union Mineral in Belgium, and other European companies, assassinated Lumumba on January 17, 1961 and this event tossed the Congo into a tailspin of chaos and instability that continues today. In fact, after the 1960 election, the Congo didn't have their next election until 2007. The situation in the Congo is an example as to why all of Africa is in the situation it's in today. Regarding Bunchy and John in L.A., that tragic incident speaks to the efforts of the federal government, the FBI, to sabotage the Panthers by turning the U.S. Organization against them. The shootout on January 17, 1969, was the end result of the FBI'S illegal efforts and it caused the Panthers to lose two of their most dynamic leaders. Bunchy Carter was a local gang leader turned political revolutionary. Something that is the worst fear of this power structure. So, I use the Cuban people, Lumumba, Bunchy, and John to start off each year. If I can just work to approach the principled struggle of those people, I can make quite the contribution to moving society forward. It's my intention to live up their shining examples!