As we close the door not only to another year, but also to an entire decade, we may be tempted to dwell in the events from the past.
But let’s not do that this week. Instead, let us look ahead at the coming 12 months with optimism and faith that the new year will be filled with opportunity, prosperity and success.
Doing just that, here are my 20 wishes for the year 2020.
1. That we will find a way to eradicate all hatred, bigotry, intolerance and violence at home and around the world.
2. That we will accept all people are equal regardless of their colour of their skin, age, race, religious beliefs, political affiliation, physical or mental abilities, societal standing, how much money they have or their sexual orientation.
3. That we accept people with physical and mental challenges have a right to be treated just as everyone else is treated and we believe that they can achieve whatever they set out to do in achieving their greatest potential.
4. That poverty will be wiped out and every person will have equal and easy access to the basic needs of life.
5. That politicians will find the wisdom, courage and fortitude to make decisions that not only enhance the lives of their current constituents, but will also ensure future generations will have a world in which to grow up in.
6. That humans everywhere will become better stewards of the world we inhabit and that we will finally realize our actions not only impact us but all living creatures on the planet.
7. That the gap between the haves and the have-nots will finally be closed.
8. That the sick will not only find access to speedy health care but that it will be quality health care.
9. That all forms of injustices and prejudices will be stopped cold in their hate-filled tracks.
10. That we will lend a helping hand to our neighbours in their time of need.
11. That we will accept others will often have different opinions and beliefs than our own but that we will find a way to live in harmony and embrace those differences.
12. That Canada will continue to be a beacon of hope for those seeking shelter from oppressive regimes, those who are looking to find a tolerant and just society to create a home where they can live free and follow their dreams.
13. That bullying will be recognized as the scourge that it is and that it will be wiped out in its entirety.
14. That those who wish to work can find meaningful and gainful employment in satisfying jobs so they can afford a good quality of life and pay for their needs.
15. That scientists and decision makers will get on the same page when it comes to global warming so we can get on with fixing the problem instead debating whether or not it’s real or if it’s a hoax.
16. That we find a way to help every hungry person in Canada find food to feed themselves and their families and every homeless person in our country finds shelter from the elements.
17. That every person struggling with mental illness finds the help he or she so desperately needs.
18. That we continue to enjoy and celebrate the freedoms that a democratic society provides for us and that we never take those freedoms for granted.
19. That my family, friends and readers enjoy good health and unbridled happiness in the coming year and into the future.
20. That you all have happy and prosperous new year and that all your hope and aspirations become reality.
I know these are tall orders. Do you think I am so naive to believe these 20 wishes can be realized in one year? No, I’m a realist and I recognize there’s a lot of work to be done. I do believe if we all make an effort, we can live in a world where we can all get along and everyone can reach their full potential, or at least that’s the view from here.
Vernon Oickle writes The View From Here column, which appears weekly in the South Shore Breaker. He can be reached at vernon.l.oickle@Eastlink.ca