Are You Worried About The Coming Year?

While there is certainly good news in the world, there are several areas that may be cause for concern in the coming year. Are you worried?

As a new year begins, sometimes you can be optimistic about the future. However, if your tendency is to be pessimistic, there are plenty of things to be worried about.

A notable one, at least in the U.S., is that it is a presidential election year. Politics are already dividing our nation in a way not seen for decades, and a presidential race threatens to cause even further inflame tensions. As misinformation spreads quickly, the two sides have difficulty agreeing on basic facts.

Another concern is climate change. Each year is warmer than the previous year, which has led to a stunning number of environmental disasters: floods, wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, and so on. The pattern would seem to suggest this year will see even more extreme weather across the globe.

Two ongoing wars, one between Russia and Ukraine, and another between Israel and Hamas, have many feeling uneasy. In addition to the increase of immigrants fleeing for their lives, both conflicts could have drastic impacts on the world.

Technology continues to shape our lives in radical ways. The rise of social media has left many users feeling isolated and depressed. The coming age of artificial intelligence may touch nearly every sector of the economy, threatening to change our lives in ways we don’t yet understand.

Is this doom and gloom warranted? There are also positive news stories — do they get pushed aside for headline-grabbing bad news? Is our anxiety legitimate, or are we kept in a state of fear by corporations and governments with ulterior motives?

Are you worried about the coming year?

Related questions: What is the greatest problem facing humanity? How is climate change impacting you? Will the future be better than the present?

 

2 thoughts on “Are You Worried About The Coming Year?”

  1. As someone who is by nature a hopeful person who also suffers from Anxiety, I know it is possible to be worried and hopeful at the same time. I consider hopefulness to be an active state. If you’re concerned about something, work to change the worried about result. Practice active hope.

    For example, I am deeply concerned that the Electoral College will hand the Presidency to Trump despite a popular vote lopsided toward Biden. I live in Minnesota, a state likely to vote Democrat. So, how can I play a role, however small, to respond to my fears? Minimally, I can touch base with all my friends who live in other states and detest Trump to make sure they will turn out to vote. I could play a more active role, helping interest groups make calls to past strong and leaning Democrats in other states to make sure they also plan to vote.

    I am also deeply concerned about climate change. I believe the scientific consensus is that we can’t reverse the changes already occurring. But we still have time to mitigate the damages we have already exacted on our planet. We can’t wish this problem away. We need to act now. Individuals can choose from a host of actions to accomplish this. For example, personally, you can install solar panels on your roof. Collectively, you can support policymakers who work on systemic measures to address climate change.

    I’ve focused my efforts on measures to protect our food supply, specifically to protect our seed diversity to have options for growing fruits and vegetables on a hotter planet. On an individual level, I have a large garden to grow heirloom vegetables. Friends who follow my social media feeds know the joy I take in this practice, and they know I encourage them to make their thumbs green. On a systemic level, I support Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to saving the seed diversity we currently have, as well as naturally breeding new seed varieties ready for the environment we are headed towards.

    Am I worried about the upcoming year? Absolutely. But I refuse to let that freeze me in permanent hopelessness. I choose active hope. If I and many others don’t, we are doomed to the future we worry about.

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