The Ruttle Report - Hope in the New Year, New Decade

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language,
And next year’s words await another voice.”  - T.S. Eliot

We’ve arrived not only at the beginning of another year, but the beginning of another decade.  It seems like just yesterday we were all fearing the dreaded “Y2K bug” that was allegedly going to shut everything down in our ever-changing society and throw us back a few generations.

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Hell, even I can remember being told by my parents to go downstairs and fill up the five-gallon water jugs on New Year’s Eve in 1999.  You know, “just in case…”

Flash forward twenty years later, and we’ve gone from fearing the worst from computers and electronic systems to giving in and actually letting them run our daily lives, with devices like Google Minis and others named Alexa.  There are even talks about switching over the 9-1-1 infrastructure in this country to an entirely internet-based system.

It makes a guy just shake his head.  We need more analog thinking in our digital world.

Regardless of one’s thoughts on where we’re headed as a collective people, I can’t help but smile at the thought of a new year.  It’s the beginning of a book with 365 blank pages and your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to fill it with all sorts of adventures, occurrences and anecdotes that capture what is hopefully a memorable year ahead.

New year’s resolutions, you ask?  Well, on a professional level, there are two things I’ve got cooking.  For one, I’m buying some new camera gear in the next few weeks and I’m toying with the idea that by the spring, I may start offering my services as a photographer for hire.  Grad photos, family portraits, and hey, I’ll even go the boudoir route – provided that it’s tasteful!

Secondly, I’m taking the time in 2020 to concentrate more on my personal writing, the kind done OUTSIDE of the news biz.  I’ve got a handful of stories that have either been sitting dormant on my laptop or they’re simply ideas in my head, and I want to bring those to life.  My goal is to have them finished and available to read as part of a “short stories collection” that can be purchased for a few bucks.

Outside of my own bubble, I hope the new year and the new decade brings some changes to how we operate in Western society.  The short version of my summation of the past ten years is simple: There was far too much grandstanding in the 2010’s on a litany of issues by people who simply wanted to develop a social media audience or ‘following’, and there was far too little personal accountability and logical, big-picture thinking.

In the new year and beyond, my vote goes to seeing more of the latter, and complete eradication of the former.

Take climate change, for example.  A serious topic?  Absolutely.  Should we all do our collective part in our own way to help the environment?  Yes.  Should we get together in large groups, stand in front of rush hour traffic with signs, and make people angry while at the same time causing more air to be polluted in the first place?  No, we probably shouldn’t be doing that.

How about another hot topic, like eating meat or going vegan.  Should we just do our own thing and eat whatever foods we like?  Yes.  Should we throw stones and a myriad of biased information at each other that says, “My thing is better than your thing”?  No, we shouldn’t.

Protest for climate change and the environment all you want, but do it smart that actually entices people to join your cause and quit being an obvious attention hog.  Eat meat all you want or don’t, but quit demonizing those who do or don’t eat it.

In 2020 and beyond, we need to adopt more of the mindset of “You do you, I’ll do me.”

What else would I like to see?

I’d like to see comedian Ricky Gervais honored with a gold statue somewhere for his poignant, biting, funny, and all-too-true opening monologue from the Golden Globes.  In seven minutes, he roasted Hollywood elitists who make millions while telling us “normal folk” how we should live and poked fun at the absurdity of the entertainment business.

I’d like to see the same lightning-quick support for the horrific fires in Australia that the world gave to the Notre Dame Cathedral when it burned down, which saw over a billion dollars raised in two days.  Let’s do that for the kangaroos and the koalas!

I’d like to see the people make their voices heard loud and clear in both elections this year, provincial and municipal.

I’d like to see a prosperous year for home, Saskatchewan, and Canada as a whole.

I’d like to see 2020 make a serious impact in every sense of the word.

For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.

© The Outlook

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