Monday, December 30, 2019

A new decade dawns

    The first of January marks the beginning of not only a new year but also of a new decade, the two thousand and twenties. It’s a month named for the Roman God Janus, protector of portals, who had two faces, one looking into the past, the other into the unknowable future.

    It’s a time for renewals and resolutions and the making of fresh bright plans. Like Janus, the pundits are recounting, lamenting, and celebrating happenings of the old year and predicting what’s to come. Some will get a few things right. Many will not. There will be pleasant surprises and satisfactions ahead and severe disappointments and sad tragedies both natural and human-caused.

    Because this ought not to be a time of cynicism, I’m making my own hopeful predictions for what will happen reasonably soon:

    Federal legislators will address the epidemic of distracted driving mayhem, passing effective laws that stop cell phoning while driving, thus saving some 5,000 American lives annually and avoiding thousands more highway injuries. Technically, this will be accomplished by using the built-in GPS chips to disable phone use while moving more than 20 miles per hour. People will realize the wisdom of this and simply pull over to make or receive important calls and will just put off all those unnecessary inane ones, none of which are worth dying for.

    Blind partisan adherence to one entrenched camp or the other regarding issues like abortion and global warming and immigration and health care will fall away in favor of unarguable truths based on hard provable facts, and the American populace will come together in search of real solutions.

    World leaders will at long last realize the folly, horrendous expense, and needless tragic deaths and suffering caused by distrust, religious division, historical differences, and out-of-control militarism, and our planet will begin to know real peace in which human imagination, compassion, and understanding will flourish.

    We will save our young people from lives of ignorance and drug use and crime and despair.

    We will unite to halt the decline and ongoing extinctions of wild creatures for which, like us, Earth is their only home in the vastness of the Universe.

    We will solve all these problems and issues and more because we know there are ways to address or prevent almost any challenge we face, as we’ve proven to ourselves so many times in our long successful evolution.

    Each of us will resolve to do and be better and contribute what we can to our species, thus inevitably reaping a windfall of incidental benefits ourselves.

    I wish you a happy New Year and New Decade.


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