The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
Sitting here in the semi-dark looking out at a grey sky and into a blank screen, the modern equivalent of a blank sheet of paper in the typewriter, it’s a bit hard to see what’s in the crystal ball for 2014.
According to a new AP poll, half of Americans expect 2014 to be a better year than 2013.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
According to Gallup, small-business owners in the U.S. are slightly more negative than positive as they look ahead to the new year. Twenty-eight percent say they are less optimistic about their business’ future going into 2014 than they were going into 2013, while 23 percent say they are more optimistic. The rest say their level of optimism is about the same.
As I have already written, 2013 was a groundbreaking year for environmental journalism and activism. But I’m wondering if people are really prepared to keep up the momentum into another year?
We have become so dependent on computer programming code that I wonder how far the zeroes and ones can take us into the future?
It would be easy to head to the New Year’s Eve parties and feel optimistic about the future if you had a few million sitting in a Swiss bank account and your bunker was prepared like the characters on the National Geographic Channel’s Doom’s Day Preppers.
It’s not so easy to be optimistic if you are barely getting by financially and still have no health care coverage even as Obamacare goes into effect. The confusion in the national and local media about this has contributed to a sort of pall over the national political scene, which explains the lack of confidence Americans have in the president, although he is still faring much better in measures of public opinion than the tea party Congress.
Yet the do nothing to help America Republicans still hold the balance of power in the U.S. House and in a number of governor’s mansions and statehouses, including my home state of Alabama. It has already been made clear that not much will happen to change things in Montgomery in 2014, since this will be an election year and you know politicians. They don’t take any risks or attempt to do the right thing when their political asses are on the line.
As for my personal situation, I feel like the plans I have been working to put into place over the past few years are coming to fruition. So this may very well be a major transition year for me.
The other day as I placed poinsettias on the graves of some of my ancestors for the holiday season, I told my 87-year-old mother that this may well be the last time we have a chance to make this vigil together.
It’s not that I have the ability to foresee the future. On the other hand, it’s not that hard to see the writing on the wall. Nobody can live forever, and I come from a nomadic people who knew better than to stay in one place for too long.
In the days of hunter gathering bands, a food source or fresh drinking water supply might dry up. So the tribe moved on. In the agricultural era, the soil might play out. So you changed the crop or bought more land and planted your garden somewhere else.
In the mobile information society we live in today, about the only way to seek out new opportunities is to move on down the road to where the prospects are better.
I’m going to give this place one last shot in 2014. But if things don’t start to change for the better, I am probably out of here.
© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.