Every December people speak hopefully about the next year being better than the last and no more so than of these last few years. But better, though infinitely possible, is made elusive. Worse is still accelerating and such yearning sentiment, by the arbitrary turn of a clock, has become a naive cliché of wishful thinking. Hope requires follow-through.
Bad things happen. We know this. Sometimes they come out of the blue, sometimes little could have been done to prevent an event but, more often than not, the bad stuff is merely the consequence of dreadful and preventable decision-making. Nothing so new in that, is there? In fact, I can’t remember a time when ideology, incompetence, indifference, self-service, arrogance and complacency have not been political staples. You could fill a page with appropriate descriptors. Once upon a time, such poor character and method were mostly judged by hindsight. Today, we see a great deal of it as it happens. Today, by our “will”, we are even charged with creating much of it.
But one seemingly simple choice can change everything. Tomorrow, then, we shall be as responsible as those whom we have blamed. Amazing, how quickly we have lost control but, really, the choice made that inevitable. Power is being wielded without wisdom. Wisdom is a betrayal. Tribe is all. Comfortable; collegiate; anchoring. Divisive. Narrowing. Dangerous.
There are better ways to express and grow our national character but our current trajectory is not derived of sufficient integrity, principle, foresight or rationality. We live in the age of at least and whataboutery. Relativity unto distortion. We trip on shifting carpets, measure truth by reaction, lean on there but for the grace of and count our luck and blessings as though they were the deferred successes of good, sound judgement. We have crunched the outer rim of thought and our emotions find and leave us wanting.
The past has overtaken the future and the present cannot – will not keep up. If you believe it can’t get worse, then you have not been paying attention and you are in for a bit of shock. 2018 is going to make this year look like a picnic. Buckle up. Brace. Keep a sense of humour and look, always, for the pockets of Light. Hold on to your loved ones and your hats. It’s going to be fraught.
Happy New Year. ⚡️