New Year’s is a traditional time for assessing the past year, making predictions about the coming year, and adopting resolutions for self-improvement. This year, I’m only doing one of the three, making some predictions about 2012. I’ve not done this before and am interested to see how accurate my predictions will be. I invite reader comments about 2011, predictions for 2012, and resolutions for self-improvement.
Predictions for 2012:
· A dictator will emerge in Iraq, probably Nouri al-Maliki. The war in Afghanistan will wind down but the Taliban insurgency will continue. Iran will develop, or be on the verge of developing, a nuclear weapon.
· No progress in reconciling South and North Korea will occur until after the end of 2012.
· Obama will win reelection; the Republicans will gain control of both houses of Congress.
· North Carolina will defeat the proposed amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage in heterosexual terms.
· Violent and unusual weather patterns will increase in frequency and severity causing multiple major natural disasters around the globe.
· The major stock market indices (Dow Jones, S&P 500, NASDAQ, Russell 2000) will advance 5-10%, less than typical for an election year; all will have multiple, substantial fluctuations of several percentage points in a single day.
· The world will not end.
Reviewing that list of predictions reveals that all but the last two are negative (although some evangelical Christians, eager to be with Jesus, would argue that the final prediction was the most negative of all!).
Good things rarely generate news coverage. In 2012:
· The sun will rise every day.
· Most people will eat, laugh, pray, and love more than they are hungry, cry, disbelieve, and hate.
· Nature’s beauty will continue to evoke unanticipated gasps of pleasure from those who pause to behold and to experience it.
· People will practice random acts of kindness (remember the many “secret Santas” who paid the balance due on items that unknown strangers had put on layaway in stores such as K-Mart).
· Children will be born, received into the arms of loving parents.
· People will die courageously, thankful for a good life, long or short.
· Healthcare personnel will successfully treat hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people for a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.
· Democracy will continue to spread, though not as quickly as some had hoped during the 2011 Arab spring.
· Most people, and rightly so, expect that 2012 will be a good year. Each of us can accomplish something worthwhile and find a moment to enjoy every day (remember the Boy Scout principle of doing a good deed every day).
Happy New Year!