Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Rear View Mirror ... 2012


As the ink is drying on the pages of history for 2012, one cannot help but take note of the dramatic news stories that dominated the headlines throughout the year. It seemed that one extreme event after another captivated our attention in 2012. On a local and regional level, it seemed to be the year of living wetly. From broken water mains in Trail and Montrose, to a raging Columbia that threatened to turn downtown Trail into a giant mud puddle. From a tragic mudslide at Johnson's Landing, to a freak summer storm (turned deadly tornado) twisting through Pines Bible Camp in Grand Forks, the residents of the West Kootenays and the Boundary - all experienced more of the backhand of chance than I think any of us bargained for. Of course we also heard the desperate chatter of doom and gloom prophets who brought us "The End of the World" predictions in 2012, and I hasten to add that no thinking person I know took any of them seriously. I chose to flout the doomsday prophets by getting married to my fiance, Jeanne Kim on 12-12-12, for which I am extremely greatful. The year then ended with the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, that has caused many to reconsider their views on the very thorny issue of gun control. What I can confidently say about this past year is that if nothing else, 2012 gave me and many of my contemporaries and fellow skeptics pause to consider that just maybe, the otherwise very cozy and safe existence we enjoy here in Canada,  is much more tenuous than anyone of us cares to acknowledge. 

On that prickly notion, consider the following; global weather events have steadily increased in frequency and severity for the last decade. Food shortages made the headlines around the world this year as did angry and violent protests against sweeping austerity measures in Europe. The Arab Spring and it's consequent political turmoil impacts not only the citizens of the middle east, but it also reaches right across the Atlantic, and up to the edge of the fiscal cliff on the  eastern seaboard. Reference the ever present instability of US equity markets and the lofty price of a gallon of gas these days.The only thing that seems certain lately is ,,,well, uncertainty. Is it all moving faster? Or are we all just paying more/closer attention? I am not entirely sure of the answer to that question,but I suspect it is a bit of both actually.

Having said all of the above, I still cannot help but be cautiously optimistic about the future. In spite of the apparent fiscal confusion and global disarray that regularly sits above the fold in our daily tab, human ingenuity still stands tall above old ideas and outdated thinking. While we may be the authors of the  many problems and quagmires that plague us, history shows us that we are also the solution providers,who through determination and critical thinking, overcome the very challenges we ourselves created. As I look forward into 2013 and beyond, I see constant change and challenge ahead ,but more importantly, I see opportunity. Each of us has the power to choose how we will view the future ...and also the obligation to ourselves to act in accordance with that vision. I welcome 2013 with anticipation and perhaps even a bit of trepidation, but not doubt. By all accounts, 2013 portends to be another roller coaster ride on many fronts and we can count on the instant vibration of social media to keep us all over-informed throughout the year. Perhaps the best way to manage the info on-slaught is to make a resolution (which I stopped doing years ago),to put the Blackberry in its proper place more often. That place would be ... the glove compartment of my truck, at the airport.A familliar refrain, but I digress.

On a final note, coming from someone who likes to make "quality decisions", instead of "resolutions", the one thing I have decided to do more of in 2013, is to "Tell my story, my way". .

KWJ