Happy New Year

Good morning brothers and sisters, hero's of the workers
and retirees in this great world that we live in. I want to
take the time to wish each and every one of you a Happy
New Year and thank for caring about your fellow man as
we welcome in yet another new year.

Where does the time go? Yesterday is gone and passed
into history. In my reflections back on my life, it seems
like yesterday when I was a young man striving to find my
way and meaning in life. It all passes so quickly. It's like
a puff of smoke, it's here and vanishes just as quickly. As
I turn to my golden years, I find that I'm still striving to
find my way and meaning to this short amount of time that
I have been alloted here on earth.

There are I'm sure, many of us who do this. We try to find
a meaning to our life. We will not stumble through life with
no thought about who we are and why we are here. We can
never be the person who just drifts through life caring about
only ourselves and looking for what we can gain. We know
and feel that our lives have much more meaning to us than
just passing through for our own presonal gains.

We will share with our fellow man. We will help him and not
be jealous of him. We will help him when he is down. It will
never cross our minds to step on or over him when he is down.
We will offer him our hand and help him in any way that we
can. We can see ourselves in this person. Life has treated
us better than him and we will share with him. We can feel
his agony as if it were our own. We can not, and will not
ignore him. He is our family.

So, with these thoughts in mind, we enter the new year
full of a renewed hope and faith that we can make just a
little bit of difference in this world. I don't want to be rich
with money. To me, that is the path to misery. That is the
path that will keep me blind in this life. I want to be rich
with knowledge and have compassion for the poor. I want
to hold and embrace the fact that this life isn't about me.

I want to know that it's about kindness to my fellow man,
and especially the people who can help me find out what life
is all about. I want to know that I can step up and not only
help my fellow man, but that I can also defend him. When
someone would try to suck the lifeblood from him, I'll be there
for him. It's a life that isn't about personal gain. We all need
money in order to survive in this world. But, when is enough
enough? We must answer this question individually. No one
can answer it for us.

I have gained a lot in the past year. Money you would ask?
Heck no! Knowledge, the true meaning to my life. Many of
YOU have added to my knowledge and I want to take the
time to thank you for it. I don't have to name names. Look
into your heart and you will know who you are. You have
these same feelings and compassion for your fellow man. You
show this knowledge through your words and actions. If you
can feel the impact of these words, then you know who you
are.

The Hatchet Man Miller gave me a new meaning to my life. What
he stands for, I stand against. Many of you enjoy reading my
thoughts. If it wasn't for this Grench, these thoughts could
never have been shared with you. For close to 60 years these
thoughts have been locked away and I had no idea that many
people would enjoy reading them. I can't type like many of you
can. That's my fault. I survive by pecking. You give me hope
and inspiration. You tell me that you have the same feelings
that I do but that you just can't put these feelings into words.

Brothers and sisters, you don't have to put these feelings into
words. You show through your words and actions what your
true meaning in life is about. Words can never express what you
have shown. There are no words for it. Compassion and the love
of your fellow man. How can this be put into words that are
fitting? It can't be explained in words. Only the heart can know
and understand the true meaning of this special gift that you
have.

Many of you have been my mentors during the year gone by. You
have given me new hopes and inspirations. You continue to feed me
knowledge. This is PRICELESS. You will be there adding to my knowledge
in the new year. You will add something that is PRICELESS to my life
while the last puff of smoke disappears before my eyes. You are truly
special brothers and sisters.

We enter into this new year with the hopes that this will be the year
that labor will will finally stand up and fight for their own good and for
that of their brothers and sisters. We have the hopes and inspirations
that they will find out what SOLIDARITY is all about and return this
great world that we live in to the true greatness that it once had. We
will pursue in out truths and in that great quest. Will this be the year
that our hopes and dreams will finally be realized? Only history can
answer that question.

We have learned a lot about ourselves and our fellow man during the
past year. We are reliving history in many ways. We are the David. We
are fighting the Goliath. History will tell us the outcome of this fight. We
are small and the giant is so large. Cover my back brothers and sisters
and I'll cover yours. We can and will fight the good fight. History will
will tell the world the outcome of this GREAT battle.

     In Solidarity
     John Goschka
     Local 699 Retiree