We know what 2014 was: many things. In the news we had plague, war, elections (a mix of plague and war, it sometimes seems), advancement in science. In our individual lives we had our own events, of course. But at this early date, what is 2015?
Undoubtedly more of the same. But how to look at it from a broader perspective?
We could say that the 2016 presidential election will begin to heat up in the late fall. We could talk about the media events to come (sports championships, artistic awards, etc.).
This might be the year you win the lottery (or lose the lottery, if you’re a statistical improbability). It might be the year you finally break down and buy a new something-or-other that you’ve had for years and grown sentimental about despite it being a commodity. Exciting to think about, isn’t it?
But for humanity at-large, not just Americans or people with antique spatulas, what is 2015?
What can we expect from a year? We’ve had years that marked major changes before. And then lots of little, incremental years between. We’ve also had years with false-starts in the way of social movements that didn’t quite make it to the top of the hill.
Is 2015 even real? It’s real in the sense that it denotes a real (enough) span of human time, but false in the sense that it’s an arbitrary length. “What is next Wednesday?” might be as useful of a question. But we still look at years with more significance than a Wednesday.
We look at time as cyclical. Last week sucked, but this one might be good. It’s a new week, like a new spatula. Gone, we hope, are the bad things of the old spatula, like the time we dropped the pancake on the floor. And it’s shiny, too. Has that new-spatula smell to it.
We plan for years. Intel plans to release another CPU. Ford another car. At the US State Department they’re working on this or that. But we don’t plan as a nation. There is no 2015: the year America ends poverty plan. We think that will take some time, and many of us believe it won’t ever happen (thanks, Jesus (Mt. 26:11, “The poor you will always have with you […]”)).
And we don’t do it as a planet, either. Can we, as a planet, go a whole year without someone re-watching Frozen (first-time views are okay, as are re-watches with a first-time viewer present, provided they do want to watch it again (no kidnapping/bribing/tricking your neighbor just so you can see it again))? Not this year. [Just for the records, I’ve not seen the film.]
But 2015 could have been the year we did something as a global community. And we don’t have that sort of thing set up. That’s not a thing, as the kids say. As far as I know we’ve never all done something consciously as a planet.
Now we all do some things every one of us. We all breathe, for example. But we don’t do it as part of a global movement. Maybe in 2015 we will. That would be something.