With a new year comes new hope, new promise and new opportunity. Opportunity to better one’s situation. Opportunity to mend fences long in need of repair. And opportunity to broaden one’s horizons if one so wishes. All of which requires a certain amount of optimism.
Optimism always reigns supreme at the beginning of a new year. According to a recent Leger poll, 34 per cent of Canadians are generally feeling positive about the year ahead, while 44 per cent think they will be no better or worse off in 2023 than they were in 2022. The remaining 22 per cent think they will be worse off in 2023.
Among the things people are most worried about occuring in 2023 are higher inflation and interest rates, a possible economic recession and a catastrophic weather event.
Personally, I am guardedly optimistic about the year ahead. There is reason to be optimistic even as war continues to rage in Ukraine, interest rates and inflation continue to creep higher and the possibility of a recession becomes more and more likely. For one, the further we get from the pandemic the better. With each passing week and month we creep closer to normalcy.
Yes, I know many economists were predicting that when the pandemic was over we would enter a period similar to the roaring 20s, but now we realize that those predictions were nothing but a pipe dream.
Ongoing supply chain issues have stunted our economic recovery and fueled inflation, but they should not stunt our optimism.
I am optimistic because we continue to be among the most generous people in the world in spite of our economic woes and worries. As a population we continue to give what we can to agencies like the Orleans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre, CHEO, the Ottawa Heart Institute and the Canadian Cancer Society.
I am optimistic because in meeting young people during my travels outside of Canada, I have come to realize that nothing will spoil the optimism of youth. It’s not that they are without fear or anxiety, most have a fair share of both, but they don’t allow it to get in the way of wanting to enjoy life to the fullest. Perhaps, it’s because they can afford to be so optimistic.
But I believe it is just another result of the pandemic. They were locked up and locked away for so long without the ability to socialize at their favourite club, or the gym, or event the movie theatre, that they appreciate the freedom of youth now more than ever. And as well they should. Those of us who are much older could take a lesson from them.
Life is too short to live in a constant state of pessimism. And as much as I hate to remind myself, it is growing shorter with each passing day. So count me in among those who feel optimistic about the year ahead. I look forward with eager anticipation to what the next 12 months has in store for both myself, my friends and the country.