Yearly Archives: 2024

Hopeful Realism for 2024, Part 2

As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, I hope that all of us can be hopeful and realistic so that we can achieve more than we thought possible, and we can weather the unexpected with grace. Here are some more observations for the year ahead:

Realism: Social media will continue captivating and ensnaring far too many people, draining creativity and energy.

Hope: May we spend more time with family and friends, learn to use a fountain pen, read printed books, and enjoy the outdoors without a phone in hand.

Hopeful realism: May we see more reflections than reactions and more conversations over mere condemnations.

Realism: Jews and Christians will continue facing severe persecution globally, with little notice from non-religious leaders or neighbors.

Hope: People of conscience will realize that each of us must desire and protect for others the liberties we expect for ourselves.

Hopeful realism: Many will consider becoming Christians or renewing their faith as they recognize the cohesiveness and compassion of Jesus. And many Christians will appreciate the Jewish roots of our faith for the first time.

Realism: The American and global economy will continue struggling as significant adjustments take place due to poor planning, risky investments, and changes in labor and production.

Hope: We will see some improvements in interest rates and job growth, due to normal developments and the results of the political desires of investors.

Hopeful realism: As local and state governments face realities, some will wisely tighten their belts and thoughtfully allocate resources, while removing barriers to business expansion.

And finally, your humble author believes that we are on the cusp of a spiritual awakening that will overflow into neighborhoods and nations as people not only have religious encounters in church, but kindly and thoughtfully serve their families, colleagues, and friends as a thank you to the grace of God. For such love in action, some will face persecution. But the pressures of opponents will only increase their fortitude, and once again, we will see the goodness of God on display.

May we all be hopeful realists, with greater expectations of what God can do, sober awareness of our own shortcomings, and a willingness to extend ourselves to others.

Hopeful Realism for 2024, Part 1

Every new year begins with forecasts and predictions for the coming months. Some of these are thoughtful prognostications rooted in good research and reflection. Other are subjective guesses, offered as clickbait in a fantastical or fatalistic spirit. In this essay, I want to offer some pithy statements to stimulate thoughtfulness and ethical action. In a world awash with extremes, I hope these will encourage hearts and empower creativity.

Realism: We will continue seeing President Trump hounded by his enemies and his supporters labeled as extremists.

Hope: Both parties will offer alternatives to the current and previous administrations.

Hopeful realism: Perhaps we can debate important issues like the budget, immigration, foreign policy, and a balanced view of the environment.

Realism: Gender anarchists will continue advocating for unsafe procedures on minors and insist that identity is purely subjective.

Hope: Thoughtful people are waking up to the destructive narcissism and big pharma influences on impressionable young people.

Hopeful realism: Permitting adults (on their dime) to modify and express their identity is part of a free society. At the same time, parents must retain final authority in caring for their children.

Realism: Israel will be criticized regardless of her military or political actions by intersectional radicals that think she is an oppressor of Palestinians.

Hope: Thoughtful folks will see that Israel wants peace with her neighbors. This is only possible with a new generation of Arab leaders willing to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as the national home of the Jewish people.

Hopeful realism: Israel will win the current conflict and will establish security measures, allow aid to flow, and attempt to welcome a peaceful solution for both Gaza and the West Bank.

Realism: Colleges and universities will face further reckonings concerning true freedom of ideas and speech.

Hope: Educational leaders will restore the true exchange of ideas and not allow agitators to veto presentations.

Hopeful realism: We will continue seeing older institutions refuse to change their ways while new, entrepreneurial ones find success.

We will continue exploring the future in the next essay. Here is some food for thought as we step forward this year. Let’s reject fatalism (“Nothing will change…”) and fantasy (Everything will be wonderful…”)  and choose faith, hope, and love as our dispositions and discover a future filled with unexpected delights, inexplicable challenges, and increasing wisdom.