Is it just me? Do we say, “Here’s hoping next year is better than this one was” every year now? Whether it’s true or not, it seems like there is a group of people – not necessarily the same group of people all of the time – saying that every year. Hopefully, it’s just something people say, and that it isn’t true. Who knows?!?
Either way, here are five things I hope happen in 2019 that would ensure it’s a better year than 2018:
- The adults retake control of Washington and the cable news outlets. This is probably nothing more than a dream that won’t happen, but I’m tired of rants and tantrums, screaming and pouting. Civility is lacking and decorum has gone down the drain like dirty bath water. And the noise is louder than when Spinal Tap claimed they turned their amps up to 11.
- The racists, xenophobes, gay bashers, body shamers, Internet trolls and any other people who find pleasure in or believe they are entitled to demean or bully others just crawl back under the rock where they came from originally. This is the 21st Century and you would have thought we had evolved more as humans, but I guess not. The ironic thing about it all is these same bullies are the biggest criers when they feel slighted.
- Social media websites develop some sort of algorithm that can detect when people try to post the hateful things in the previous paragraph, or post something so asinine or obviously wrong that it would stop the post from appearing. But it would do is create a post that could not be removed like “The post this person tried to put here was so (stupid, hateful, wrong) that you should question their intelligence or intentions.”
- People get thicker skin. This doesn’t run counter to wanting people to quit with name-calling, bullying, etc. Some people seem to want to make a mountain out of a molehill and cause chaos when none is needed. Having empathy for others and displaying a sensitive side is not being weak, HOWEVER, there is a time where you have to buck up and grow a pair. Until the time that everyone treats everyone else with respect (never going to happen), we have to get beyond the pettiness and get over it.
- More use of “thank you.” This has been a pet peeve of mine for decades, mostly because it gets worse all the time. No one says thank you anymore. I didn’t have too much to worry about with Christmas shopping but still was in a lot of businesses. So for the three weeks before Christmas I kept track of all the times I heard someone thank me for my business and the grand total was … five. Two of those lacked complete sincerity and were by people who worked at the same story. They were part of a phrase the people echoed verbatim and with no inflection or emotion. I thank servers who bring me my food, even though I’m the person who paid the bill; I thank store clerks who simply check me out at the cash register. I wish I could say it is a generational thing, but it’s not.
Will this happen? Doubtful, but I can’t give up completely. So, here’s to you 2019, may you bring some hope for humanity.
Steve Murch is a former managing editor and award-winning columnist for The Alpena News. He’s a lifelong Michigan resident, a broken and defeated fan of the Detroit Lions, and a forever optimistic fan of the Detroit Tigers. His column will appear most Thursdays.