#HappyNewYear aka Here Is The Love


“I wanted to say thanks… and share my gratitude for everything I’ve been blessed with. Family, friends, and continued support from everyone.” – Travis Barker

What? Another View From The Ground blog? So soon? Indeed. There’s times when words and thoughts come tumbling out, and today is just one of those times.

As we claw our way out of 2016, with a veritable yelp of relief, we have 2017 presented before us. A new year; a new start; a new chance. A new chance or just another chance to make the same mistakes?

Welcome to the closing thoughts from my place on the ground. A place I am proud to share with so many wonderful people.

2016? As I have alluded to in previous blogs, it’s been a tough one for so many people. The Syrian crisis; Yemen crisis; terrorism; Brexit in the U.K. And the millions of pounds wasted on that campaign; the USA presidential campaign and outcome and the millions of dollars wasted on that campaign; the continuing plight of refugees and asylum seekers; increased homelessness; increasing mental health issues, and so on.

On top of that, we all have our own personal challenges. Those challenges can make you feel like you are the only one suffering and that the world is against you. I’m sure we all feel like that during our darker moments. To be honest, I certainly have. But, and I’m back to my big but (note: not butt), the important thing I have found in those times of darkness there has always been someone or something to shine a bright light to sow me how to move forward. And for that I am and will always be grateful.

This year has brought me on a personal level many, many lessons. But the greatest lesson has been that love, real love, conquers all. And that love can be found from so many sources – how ever unexpected some of those sources may be.

In turn, having received so much love, I now feel compelled to share that love and to offer that helping hand in 2017 that I have had offered in abundance this year.

Adversity has brought reflection. Reflection on the past person I was – when looking in the mirror, who was I – and that then brings the question, who do I want to be?

I guess this is a useful exercise for us all. Looking in the mirror, what do we see and, more importantly, who do w want to see.

I have previously quoted Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson. I make no apology for sub quoting some of the lyrics again : –

“I’m Gonna Make A Change, For Once In My Life. It’s Gonna Feel Real Good, Gonna Make A Difference. Gonna Make It Right . . .

As I, Turn Up The Collar On My Favourite Winter Coat. This Wind Is Blowin’ My Mind. I See The Kids In The Street, With Not Enough To Eat. Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See Their Needs.”

“I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror. I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways. And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer. If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change”

“Got To Make That Change, Today!”

I hope that makes sense. It’s just a few of the lyrics from the song but they are so appropriate from a personal perspective. The love that I + Ben and Liv have received has been beyond anything I released was possible. So, when looking in that mirror, rather than seeing a ‘poor me’ I now know I am seeing a man so wealthy (I was going to say rich, but that’s not a word I like!), that my ‘love’ glass is truly overflowing.

On that basis, I see 2017 as the opportunity to make that change. How many others, on true reflection, can make that change and hold out our hands and offer others at the start of 2017 love and support.

If, when we look in the mirror, we feel that love is there, then we have learned hat responsibility to help others.

My personal view from the ground is that I know know there is so much more that I can offer, and I hope you dear reader feel the same. I would truly love to hear from you – how can you help? Do you need help? My email address is jonlduke@icloud.com. I’m happy to help.

So, to close the last blog of 2017, I will close with a quote.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for being with my throughout a surreal year. Thank you to all if those who have provided love and support.

Love Jon

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