We’re going to pay more taxes next year.
We’re going to drink less milk unless we want to take out a loan.
We’re going to experience more frequent natural disasters.
We’re going to get sick more often and stay sick longer.
We’re going to get fatter.
We’re going to hire personal body guards to protect us from crazy people.
We’re going to send our children to “secured facilities” instead of schools.
We’re going to learn to speak Chinese if we want to work in California.
We’re going to settle for adopting American children because the Russians are keeping theirs.
Wow! There is a price to be paid for being a news addict on vacation! If I listened to many more predictions for 2013 I’d be wishing the Mayans had been more accurate.
I suppose what keeps me sane and optimistic is my love of history. I pulled a few 1919 issues of the Caddo Herald out of my files this morning for a quick comparison:
One article deplores the farming practices of the day and predicts “a heavy cotton acreage would be a great calamity to farmers this year”.
Another speaks of conflicts between the Dept. of Labor and the machinists union. The Secretary of Labor states, “If we cannot make progress by the peaceable process of discussing and voting, we are not likely to make any progress by the riotous process of cursing and shooting.”
A report of the flu epidemic: “The flu situation in and near Caddo seems to be worse than the first epidemic.”
Pros and cons of the Road Bond issue: “If you want to see a beginning made in hard surfaced roads you should vote for this issue. If you want to continue in mud and slush, in sand and hills, vote against the issue. It is your privilege.”
Women’s rights: “Attorney General Freeling has ruled that women cannot legally sit upon a jury in any court in the state.”
Weather report: “Last Sunday the predicted tropical storm raging in the Gulf of Mexico struck the Texas coast taking a heavy toll of lives (164), devastating property- moderately estimated at $15,000,000- besides causing injury and suffering to many thousands of people.”
I could go on and on. There are numerous reports in 1919 of deaths by accident and violence. There are dire warnings about health habits, political dealings, and economic practices. In other words, the basics of the news could be lifted from any particular year and mirror what is happening now and predicted to happen next year. It is comforting to me to know that somehow our ancestors muddled through anyway.
Yes, doom and gloom will surely be a part of 2013. Borrowing from Karr, “The more things change the more they stay the same.” Our ways and means have changed since our great-grandparents’ time, but not our basic nature. So we should not be surprised if the outcome of our actions is somewhat predictable. But knowing that bad things will happen doesn’t mean we have to adopt a “woe is me” victim mentality. Good things will also happen and if I were to go back through the papers I could report the anniversaries and births and celebrations and other positive events that made the news. Our expectations for the New Year are all about attitude and perspective.
Of course, despite the dire predictions of the national news media there is always one reliable source of positive prophecy- advertising!! If you pay attention to commercials you know that there is an app to solve any problem, a medication to relieve any pain, and a perfect product to restore us to the beauty and energy of our youth! And the whole world will benefit if we shop, shop, shop. Retailers just know that 2013 is going to be the best year ever!
So we must return to the newspaper for advice. A simple declaration from the Oklahoma State Bank, 1919, says it best: “The New Year should be given the best chance if the best results are expected.”