Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Is there a glimmer of hope on the horizon?

Since finishing my studies, I have enjoyed having free time again and I’ve spent many hours hiking in Hong Kong, reflecting on the previous twelve months and looking at the goals I want to aim for in the coming year.  For me personally, 2017 has been about applying myself 100% to studying and expanding my knowledge as an English teacher.  It has awakened a desire to learn more and to continue on this journey into academia.  It has also ignited a general thirst for increasing my overall knowledge of the world and encouraged me to learn about and investigate many different areas besides second language acquisition. This year, I have also been reminded about the importance of not taking family and friends for granted, as they are the ones who will help pick you up during the tougher times.  David, in particular, has been incredibly patient and supportive throughout the year, and without his encouragement and love, I would have found it far harder to achieve the results I did.

Looking at 2017 more broadly, the world has seemed a pretty dark place at times.  With wars raging, terrorist attacks proliferating, nuclear annihilation threatening, the destruction of the planet persisting, right wing extremism rising and the gap between the haves and have nots increasing, it is hard not to feel fearful, despairing and powerless.  However, there are some glimmers of hope. 
Hope on the horizon?

For example, while Brexit has polarised the UK, it has also awoken many of us who were previously apathetic or ambivalent towards politics.  I have never read or listened to so much political debate as I have done over the past 12 months. While I certainly don’t profess to being an expert or to have any answers, there is a consensus that Capitalism is in its death throes and Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right are protests against globalisation, the status quo or cries for help.  There has to be an alternative to a world where we are driven to be ever-more productive, to work longer hours, to compete against each other - so that we can have more of the latest ‘stuff’ (that we don’t really need), to make corporations (who do not pay sufficient taxes) dangerously powerful, while systematically destroying our planet, breaking down communities and compromising on our quality of life. 

The glimmer of hope is that while the solutions haven’t necessarily been fully- formed yet, the tide is turning and people are beginning to realise that we can’t continue as we have been, we can’t return to the ‘good old days’ and therefore we need to create an alternative future.  There are many conversations, debates and investigations looking into alternatives – many of which could be achievable with sufficient momentum. While nothing is going to change overnight, these difficult times are our wake-up call to think big and join together to create a better sustainable world for future generations to enjoy.

So, while I know I cannot change the world single-handedly, my resolutions for 2018 are to contribute in a small way to improving the world we live in and start to alleviate my feelings of despair and impotence.  So, here they are:
  1. Reduce the amount of stuff I buy – particularly ‘disposable’ clothes
  2. Buy food and products with reusable or recyclable packaging
  3. Reduce my meat consumption to two days per week
  4. Volunteer my time to give something back to my community e.g. teach under-privileged children or adults
  5. Remain politically awake and get behind campaigns/movements that aim to change this world into a kinder, fairer, peaceful  and more tolerant place

I know it's not much and I'm sure some of you are doing all of the above already.  However, if everyone were to commit to making little adjustments, we could slowly start to change the world into a better place for everyone.  Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy 2018!


  1. Amazing blog as ever Adrienne and loom out for my life blog in 2018 as planning some changes! Inspired by your thoughts and agree about the disposable clothes and too much stuff and deffo on my plan for 2018! Happy Christmas to you and the very patient David! See you on the A3! Oh and got a stopover planned in HK for Feb 2019! Xxx


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