Howard Feldman

OPINION: A wish list for 2020

2019-12-30 13:05
The writer has a 2020 wish list. (iStock)

The writer has a 2020 wish list. (iStock)

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If we could all be a little kinder to each other, and to ourselves, if we could talk to each other and not at each other, both in person and on social media, then the year would have been a success, writes Howard Feldman

Dear 2020,

We have never met but will do so very shortly. Without having made your acquaintance, the one thing that we already know about you, is that you will arrive laden with more tools for communication than that of your predecessor, 2019.

It is in this spirit, in the name of transparent dialogue that I thought I could be a little presumptuous and ask a few things of you.

Experience has taught me that expressed and managed expectations are key to a good relationship, be it in business, marriage, family and friendships, and considering that we will be stuck with each other for no less (hopefully) than 365 consecutive days, that a list of a limited number of requests would do us little or no harm.

In truth, I have always felt a little guilty for how each December, we dissect and rate the year that has almost passed.

We do without ever having expressed our expectations for the year upfront. And so, in the interest of absolute fairness, I have jotted down a list (not too onerous) of items you might want to consider.

I thought to begin a little further afield before concentrating on some local issues:

1. If 2020 could see to finality on Brexit, that would really be great. As a South African, living in South Africa, Britain leaving Europe should hardly matter to me, but we do need something a little fresher on the news. We have been numbed into a near coma by the boredom of it all, with most of us signing a DNR. Because this is the conversation no one wants to be revived to. Brexit is the guest who never leaves, it is the summer that has gone on too long and at this point, most of us couldn't care if Britain exited the solar system, let alone Europe. So, moving this along, for our British friends, and of course for us, would be so helpful.

2. You are a big year for our friends in the US, with an election taking place just as you become tired. Either way, we would appreciate it if some dignity could be granted to the US elections. I am aware that given the participants on both sides of the aisle, that you don't have a lot of material to work with, but if you give it your best 2020 bash, that would be wonderful. Helpful ideas: maybe remove Twitter from their phones?

3. Closer to home, it would be greatly appreciated if South African men were to stop raping and abusing women. I am certain that I speak for most when I say that year on year, this isn't something that we are proud of. How wonderful it would be if 2020 were to be the year when men laid down their arms (so to speak) and began to actually behave like real men. Imagine if this could be the year that would see a shift in gender-based violence. As we are already on the subject, it wouldn't be a problem if the year could also see children being safer in their homes.

4. It might be way above your weight category to ask, but could you possibly do something about South Africa's political parties? No one expects everyone to behave for the entire 2020 but imagine if for just one month of your 12, if all the parties were to focus on improving the lives of actual South Africans and not on scoring political points. Imagine if for just one month of your 12, no one would misappropriate (steal) funds meant for the improvement of the country? Don't commit to it. Just think about it.

5. If we could put an end to racism you would have been a success.

6. No natural disasters would be a win. No drought or floods or fires would be brilliant.

7. If I could get fitter and thinner in 2020 that would be nice.

8. And if the year could be kind to my father, who hasn't been well, I would be much obliged.

9. If my children were to experience challenges that make the stronger, but not set them back, it would have been be a good year.

And finally, if we could all be a little kinder to each other, and to ourselves, if we could talk to each other and not at each other, both in person and on social media, then the year would have been a success.

With that, 2020, I wish you and all of us, all the best.

See you soon.

- Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of three books and is the morning talk show host on ChaiFM.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    south africa  |  2020


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