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2009 — A reason to hope

Published 12/26/08
By Will Travers, Chief Executive Officer

The last days of 2008. A new year, full of promise, expectation — and uncertainty — looms. What will it hold? Dreams come true or dreams shattered?

Without doubt, the coming months will turbulent. The hopes of half the world seem to rest on the shoulders of President-elect Obama, hope for a new way of doing things, a new sense of humanity and compassion, a kinder and more inclusive world.

Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna reach out to Pole Pole at the London Zoo (c) Mail on SundayBut we all have our part to play. What can we achieve despite the economic storms that oppress us? A single act of kindness can send a ripple of compassion across society — to help a child, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the needy. A single act of generosity can alleviate animal suffering, demonstrating beyond question the potential for humankind to take action, not because it’s easy, not because it‘s self-serving, but because it is right.

The burdens that face us are great and heavy, our responsibilities awesome, our obligations immense but, together, our shoulders are broad.

Perhaps this is our moment, the turning point for all humanity. When things seem to be at their worst, we should be at our best, never forgetting the weak, the lost, the hopeless and the silent.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”

So let’s rise to the challenge, let’s give people and wildlife a chance — let’s make 2009 count!

With all thanks,


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