So, did you watch last week’s recommended movie—The Two Popes? Don’t worry, the theme is not going to become irrelevant soon. I used it as a vehicle to preach about leadership, character, doubt, failure, recovery, ego and hope for the future in these very tense and confusing times.
I did not convey a very important element of its message. The message is that hope is not a passive attitude, it is an active practice.
Now that we are well into the new decade, let us talk apocalypse or Armageddon, whichever suits you best.
In the first week of 2020, we have watched Australia continue to burn, giving us a visual of what the concept of a flaming Hell might look like.
An estimated half billion animals lost not to mention the vegetation and the fungi, many of them endemic to the continent. They are experiencing a fiery apocalypse right now.
And with no time to try and even comprehend what the ramifications are, US President Donald Trump assassinated the Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani and the Iraqi Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in one clinical hit.
None of this is news to you. From the beginning of the week, World War III was trending not only on social media but in the news, which faithfully reports what social media does across the world. As East Africans, we’re used to this aren’t we?
Watching as these global acts of aggression unfold, one wonders if it is the sign of the end of days and brace for the impact on us as collateral damage: through oil prices perhaps, increased presence of our own security forces and increased vigilance by foreign security forces on our soil (Kenya and Tanzania in particular are familiar with this).
I find that this and other ongoing events—for example Hong Kong protesters never giving up—have affirmed my hope and I am oddly optimistic.
Part of our job as social commentators is to read trends and anticipate what the future might look like.
What is happening now was inevitable: global warming is real. China is facing resistance from its smaller territories who have tasted independence. And President Trump needs no explanation at this point, just read his Twitter feed.
What best thing to do right now? Chill and get smart. Embrace technology if you want but don’t depend on it completely.
Learn some practical survival skills such as becoming a healer. Nobody ever kills the skilled healer or your band of adventurers is doomed.
It is as simple as knowing how to make water safe to drink to treating minor wounds to protect from infection. Be mindful, get fit, embrace your inner pacifist but prepare your inner survivor.
Specifically, this is an election year in several countries. Evidently, this theme will be coming up frequently in this column so I just want to say two things to my fellow Tanzanians: Hope and act smartly so that your political actions may no harm to your fellow citizens.
Welcome to The Real 2020.
Elsie Eyakuze is a consultant and blogger for The Mikocheni Report. E-mail: [email protected]