Looking Forward

Friday, December 31, 2021

(December’s fullest “Cold Moon” is in Waning Gibbous phase; January’s fullest “Wolf Moon” rises on the 17th.)

Tomorrow we’ll start learning to write “2022”. Despite seeming odd, it’ll become habit.

What else might change in a New Year? Are people still making resolutions? What residues will linger after a couple of Pandemic Years? Are individuals still the same or have we changed?

It seems little might remain familiar. The Pandemic Years have reduced our confidence in relatively-straightforward futures. Our habits and world views are now intertwined, so that while grocery-shopping we simultaneously consider broken supply chains. Humanity’s world has shrunken.

That’s a stretch from how most Americans grew up. Then, regardless of political and social changes from wars and technology, we planned paths forward that included attending school, gaining subject knowledge, finding projects, and seeking rewarding employment. Above all, it meant linking with one or more significant others, creating families, learning to parent and to mentor others. We could take advantage of much, could plan to give back equally or more.

Now what is “much”? What’s ahead this New Year? Will easily accessible schools re-open? Will people continue masking and avoiding large crowds? Will those able to work start re-filling available jobs? Will loaded supply ships be docked and unloaded? Will trucks, railroads, and airplanes continue doing most domestic transporting?

I ask because there are astonishing technologies on our horizon. Like self-driving vehicles, flight vehicles routinely penetrating outer space, more integrating among televisions, computers, and cellphones. There are technologies already used by individuals, like drones, doorbell cameras, and “Alexa-like” buddies. How will those continue to develop, to affect human behavior?

One resolution is to hunker, sit-back and await whatever may come down the pike. I’m accustomed to masking, avoiding crowds, expecting thinly-stocked grocery store shelves. I’ve altered long-held habits, that’s not been awful. I’m getting used to lots of unexpected.

Then there’s the larger economy. The world invigorated by Pandemic is full of restless people wanting better and healthier living conditions. Besides Pandemic and restlessness, our world suffers from supply shortages, environment destructiveness, and disappearing endangered species. Above all and worst are today’s politics, of power versus powerless.

Mostly, we’ll anticipate a New Year with hopes for constructive social consensus, an easing of vigorously-opposed wants and needs. With hopes for reducing now-massive differences that affect perspectives and impede meaningful progress.

Dear Friends: For all of us, I wish that 2022 becomes “Our Happy New Year”! Diana

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