hny 2020

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I reckon there’s a fair-to-middlin’ chance that you’re worried about what the future holds for you and yours. I’d be prepared to go a little further and say that many of us are always worried about what the future holds even if, to quote Joe Walsh of The Eagles, ‘life’s been good to me so far’. Which it has. Consequently, I’m here, on the imminent passing of the second decade of the new millennium, on a mission of mercy to allay your fears and to confirm that worrying about the future is pointless.

Where once upon a time our principal concern was centred upon escaping a fleet-of-foot sabre-toothed tiger, anxiety is today’s societal sword of Damocles. Life’s unpredictability, with all it twists and turns, drives us collectively round the bend and we hold onto the vain hope that by worrying about it we are able to exercise some level of control on future outcomes. The good news, from a worrisome perspective, is that it’s largely all for nowt and the future, your future, will be determined by a plethora of countless, wild, unpredictable and unimaginable coincidences and blind historical forces.

Existentialist philosopher and Jean-Paul Satre’s better-half, Simone de Beauvoir, best encapsulated this when she wrote “Sometimes I wake up with a feeling of childish amazement, finding myself here, in this life. The penetration of that particular ovum by that particular spermatozoon, with its implications of the meeting of my parents and before that of their birth, had not one chance in hundreds of millions of coming about.” Who’da thunked it. By all means take action in the present to increase the likeliness that things may go well but that’s about as far as your influence extends. As for the future, well, that’s none of your business. Cherish that which you hold dear, value what you believe worthy and raise a glass to those unpredictable, spontaneous, sporadic events and wacky coincidences that are undoubtedly coming your way. Happy new year, one and all.