Letters & Opinion

What’s In The Cards For 2018?

Image of Bud Slabbaert
Image of Cdr. Bud Slabbaert
By Cdr. Bud Slabbaert

HOW serious can we take the various New Year messages and forecasts? In essence, many boil down to telling the audience that if their feet are numb, polishing their shoes is the ultimate solution, because it will reflect the sunshine. That can make some people obscenely loaded, yet others obscenely depressed, especially in situations when they cannot afford more than wearing flip-flops.

New Year’s messages are often made by persons wanting to prove that they have a firm hold of the rudder, for an audience that hopes that there is a ship attached to it. If you ask me what I honestly think of those speeches and all the prophesying, I’m hung up between Shakespeare’s “I’m not to please thee with my answer” or “Give thy thoughts no tongue”.

What about New Year’s pledges? What is such a pledge worth if it is about yourself; that is egocentric. How about pledges to help others who are in need? A pledge to actively become involved or taking an initiative that can have a positive impact on community or society? Enjoy your New Year’s Day, but get at it on January 2 and become a ‘Knight’.

A knight gladly shares his funds and possessions with the needy. A knight will give his last bit of food to a hungry person, even if he must go without food. Have you recently heard about any political leader willing to donate some of his salary to help the needy in the community? I have not, but I may have missed something. How come we have so few knights nowadays.Too old fashioned, maybe, for modern society. Still, many like to make others believe that they are knights by wearing the shining armour, yet lacking a soul of chivalry.

Forget about the diet that you intend to go on next year. That is what you pledged last year also, and it didn’t work. Forget about becoming a millionaire. I know people who are going after their second million next year because they were not able to make the first million last year. Why not pledge to just four things that should be totally realistic, unless……
1. Servant leadership: willing to serve others without a price tag attached to it.
2. Kindness: being generous and considerate to others without expectations to get something in return.
3. Humility: putting others ahead of yourself.
4. Honesty: always being truthful; no falsehood, no misleading and no misinformation.

Unless, of course, you lack self-discipline, excellence, loyalty, integrity, and perseverance. Talking about a tough year last year? The challenge to stick to these four pledges next year may be tougher.

Some useful advice business and political leaders who are still considering a pledge for the New Year? If the bottom is fallen out of almost everything but you, it is time for a new approach. Forces of change are requiring transformation at speeds not considered realistic even a year ago. Who leads in change will thrive. Others, only managing change, will not thrive but barely survive. And the rest will die along the wayside. Oh, you already have a plan? So do boxers when they enter the ring! They usually have a plan until they’re hit hard. Of course, one could just stick to old ideas like chewing gum to a shoe. The fact is that change is happening, thus pledge to make changes starting January 2.

Of course, I always have an alternative solution ready for those who need a shortcut without going through the rough terrain. On the island St. Tosia, they sell “Docdoc Lizard Oil with Bull Sacrifice” for people seeking prosperity and financial advancement. I’m not sure if you can order it online and have it delivered at your place. It is very popular among spiritual stock market speculators. They are claiming that during economic turbulence, the brew has cured them of everything from depression to seizures by applying the elixir behind both ears and then let it have its effect between the ears.

“Docdoc Lizard Oil with Bull Sacrifice” comes in elegant boutique-style bottles with a little glossy black card hanging from a shiny golden ribbon at the bottleneck with just two words on it in gold embossed Trebouchet lettering: “Good Luck”.

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