With the new year upon us, perhaps you’ve put together your resolutions list. If you’re like most of us, two weeks into 2023 and the list is history. Although, you may still be going to the gym because you paid a joiner fee and one month in advance. So, you’re going to get your money’s worth for at least January. How about that sugar resolution? Have you cut back on that, or are you figuring it’s really so close to Valentine’s Day and you’re just going to blow your best intentions that day anyhow, so why bother?
Really, it’s okay. Despite the neatness of it, January 1st is simply an arbitrary day to start trying to improve yourself anyway. Might as well pick February 6th or March 13th.
Along with resolutions, the new year also usually brings with it some predictions for the coming 12 months. For example, prognosticators are forecasting a rather marked slowdown in economic growth around the world. There seems to be great debate on whether or not that means a recession is coming. But economists have always been just about as good as meteorologists at predicting exactly what will happen, whether it’s financial or weather-related.
It’s probably a safe bet to predict that technological advancements will continue apace. Especially in the field of AI (Artificial Intelligence). Maybe not this year, but we may all soon have our own robots taking care of chores for us, not to mention driving our cars and definitely figuring out our taxes.
The guessing game has undoubtedly been going on forever. One of the most famous soothsayers was, of course, Nostradamus. His Les Propheties (The Prophecies) was published in 1555, and he’s given credit for anticipating the great fire that burned up London in 1566, the assassination of Henry IV of France in 1610, the French Revolution, Hitler’s rise to power, and the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on Japan, among other items of interest. At least, that’s what I read from one source. (By the way, Pope Francis will resign this year, there will be another nuclear bomb exploded, there’s a mission to Mars on the horizon, and a New World order is coming according to some who seem to think Nostradamus was quite clairvoyant.)
As I mentioned, divination has been going on for some time. The NPR folks dug up some predictions from 1923 for 2023. Things such as “four-hour workdays, 300-year-old people and ‘watch-size radio telephones’” were in the mix. (I don’t know any triple centenarians, but those other two weren’t bad guesses.)
One newspaper also forecast its own demise. It said, in 2023, “We do not begin the day by reading the world’s news, but by listening to it for the newspaper has gone out of business.” Hmmm. Additional prognostications indicated that by this year, cancer, tuberculosis, polio, and leprosy were supposed to be eradicated. And, apparently, “Beauty contests will be unnecessary as there will be so many beautiful people that it will be almost impossible to select winners.” Well, there ARE a lot of Kardashians, that’s for sure.
Since I’m the one who delved into this topic, I think it’s only fair that I get to suggest a few predictions for the coming year as well.
Here’s an easy one: Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump will put their respective feet in their respective mouths at least a half dozen times between now and December.
Another easy guess: University of Georgia fans will assume a “three-peat” national football championship is in the offing come September. (TCU fans will NOT share that prediction.)
Someone somewhere will find yet another reason to unethically separate people from their money in get-rich-quick schemes. The perpetrators will end up saying something such as, “I didn’t know what was going on” as they are led away to jail.
Republicans in the House of Representatives will try really, really hard to enact legislation they feel will truly change America. Democrats in the Senate will try really, really hard to do likewise. Neither group will be successful. And it will be agony watching them try.
Joe Biden will visit the U.S./Mexico border. Oh, no, wait a minute. He already did that. So, then maybe Donald Trump and every other Republican presidential-wannabe will visit. Going out on a far, far limb, I predict that Border Czar Kamala Harris might even spend a day or two there. (Not even Nostradamus foresaw that, though.)
And, finally, 2023 will be the year I win the lottery. (Actually, I unofficially already have. Got a great family, good health, terrific friends. Don’t need millions of dollars to improve on that.)
Certainly, no earthling knows exactly what will happen as we all take another trip around the sun. Let’s just hope it’s a pleasant ride.
©MMXXIII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer