Without a doubt, 2008 has been a challenging year. However, I have found several reasons to be optimistic in the coming 2009:
-Many of us are still working, despite a global financial crisis that is expected to cost 20 million jobs by the end of the year.
-Most of us can still bring food to our tables, despite food crises that have pushed 40 million people into hunger, bringing the number of undernourished in the world closer to a billion.
-All of us are still able to enjoy Summer, despite 2008 set to be the 10th warmest on record for the globe.
-A great majority of us still believe that 2009 will be better than this year, despite published contrary opinion.
Further, it is not only OK to be cheerful in these conditions: it is a survival mechanism. According to a USA TODAY article, anger, fatigue, sleeplessness, overeating and overmedication are all consequences of money-related stress in 2008.
And sick people is not exactly what our economy needs to be reactivated (except the health sector, which should do well in a scenario of financial stresses and worn-out workers).
Right, I admit that this is a sweet-and-sour collection of thoughts. Here are some other plainly optimistic reasons that make me look forward to 2009:
-The stimulus plans set by Obama, Rudd and others may work.
-Consultancies such as R.W. Baird and Standards & Poor’s believe that the market has already hit rock bottom and markets and economies should stabilize by mid-2009.
-According to the latest Australian Commodities Outlook (ABARE Dec 08), export earnings for Australian agricultural commodities are not expected to be severely affected in 2008-09. Food consumption in the OECD economies is relatively insensitive to income changes.
-Further, it is predicted that beef and live cattle exports will increase in 09. The gross value of horticultural production is also expected to increase in $1,228 millionÂ with respect to last year’s production.
I could go on analysing statistics and reports to extract some drops of optimistic data. But you, dear reader, are probably sick of statistics and you are heading off to celebrate with some beers the end of another calendar year with your work colleagues.
So let’s just finish this posting with one thought in mind: life is always challenging. Life will go on in 2009. It is up to each of us to make it a fruitful, memorable year. So here it is, my final posting of the yearÂ hoping that we all find the strength to stretch our skills just a little bit more every day. Here’ s hoping that we all find more beauty and wonders in 2009.
Cheers and I will see you in January.