Seven Reasons For Optimism In 2007
The cynics will always be with us ;and they have a point. Nonetheless, for many people things are as good as, if not better than, they have ever been. We can – and should – take a responsible view of events, but without denying that in many ways 2007 could be very positive for almost all of us. Here are some reasons to be optimistic as we enter the new year.
The media, as ever, is full of reasons to be gloomy as we enter 2007. But in reality we all know that looking on the bright side at least some of the time is good for us.
So here are some reasons to be optimistic in 2007:
1. The Environment
Global warming and climate change are at last receiving the attention they should – and most commentators still reckon we have a good chance of doing something about it if we all make the effort, right now. [And in the meantime, the weather in Britain is being very kind at a time of year when freezing fog – ‘pea-soupers‘, remember them? – used to be the norm.]
Life expectancy (in the U.K.) is the highest it has ever been, and people are healthier than ever before. 60 is the new 40, so it is said; and you won’t have to retire at a set age any more if you don’t want to. [But if you do retire early, you’ll still have lots to do, now that expectations have risen so much.]
3. The Economy
Inflation and interest rates are still relatively low (remember 18% mortgages?) and employment is still high, after a long period before the Millennium of horrendous worklessness for millions. [And wages are going up, or have been levelled out more fairly, for many ‘ordinary’ worlers now.]
4. Life-long Learning
Opportunities for education and training for everyone have never been more wide-open and accessible. [You may need to take a student loan, but in many countries that’s how it’s always been – and the loan interest rate is amazingly low, plus you don’t have to pay at all if you don’t earn a reasonable wage; and for many vocational courses there are no fees – so everyone can benefit.]
Houses are warmer, more energy-efficient and better designed
than at any previous time. [And more people in the UK own their own homes than ever before.]
6. Open Society
If you need to find something out, the chances of doing so have improved greatly with Freedom of Information. [And the internet gives you a view of the world which can open doors on cultures, knowledge and ideas which previous generations couldn’t even dare to dream about.]
At long last, it is being recognised that it’s OK to enjoy yourself – laughter and fun are now officially good for you!
The glass is half full
Yes, I know each of these points has downsides, and it’s always easier (and less effort) to see the glass as half empty rather than
half full. But I bet there are few people who recall life as it was many years ago who would actually choose to turn the clock back on a lot of things. And there remain, sadly, many people in other parts of the world than the West to whom our way of life seems to be unimaginably privileged.
Let’s make 2007 a year when we explore how much better still things can be if we perceive what’s good about our lives, as well as what’s in need of improvement. Why not ‘count our blessings’, if we’re lucky enough to be able to? Then we can concentrate on helping to make things good for other people too.
Maybe it’s time to be brave, to stop the criticism from the sidelines and to start having the courage to take active responsibility for at least some of what happens. Let’s try being positive, and see where it takes us.
Posted on January 1, 2007, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Events And Notable Dates, Politics, Policies And Process, Regeneration, Renewal And Resilience, Sustainability As If People Mattered, The Journal. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.