Another year recently opened up before us, the two-thousand-and-twenty-second in the Common Era (CE). It may be annotated in two ways—2022 CE or, as has been more common, AD 2022 (from the Latin Anno Domini, ‘in the year of the Lord’). Strangely enough, the AD nomenclature was introduced retroactively in year 525 of the Common Era, more than half a millennium after it began at the end of the BC (Before Christ) period. That period is also referred to now as BCE (Before Common Era).
The CE and BCE designations are more inclusive additions to accommodate the religious diversity in our society, although it is still the Christian calendar that is almost universally used globally. The current version of that is the Gregorian calendar, introduced in 1582 CE by Pope Gregory XIII, modifying the Julian calendar which had come into effect around 45 BCE.
There are approximately forty other calendars in use around the world today, mostly used to designate holidays associated with the culture or religion from which they emanated. A few of the more notable ones include the Buddhist, the Chinese, the Hebrew, and the Islamic.
In this Gregorian calendar year of AD 2022, those calendars show their dates in accordance with the time of their origin: Buddhist, 2564; Chinese, 4720; Hebrew, 5784; and Islamic, 1444.
The dawn of AD 2022 is the seventy-eighth such occasion I’ve been around for, and marked the umpty-umptieth year in a row that I did not make any new year’s resolutions. Ironically, that’s because at some previous and now fortunately-forgotten new year’s celebration, I made a resolution never again to make new year’s resolutions.
More ironically, that’s the only resolution I have never ended up breaking. Not yet, anyway.
Still and all, I do ponder what this new year might have in store, not just for me, but for all of us. Most urgently, I suppose, I wonder if the Covid pandemic with its seemingly-endless variants will finally ease its relentless onslaught. And will the good fortune we in the wealthier nations of the world enjoy in our fight against it be shared effectively with the less-fortunate nations, so this pandemic disease won’t continue to find a viral breeding-ground among their inhabitants.
Will the political unrest in many of the so-called democracies of the world lead any of them into anarchy, and from there into authoritarian rule? Is democracy on the chopping-block? Is the burgeoning civil divide among the citizens of individual nations reconcilable, or will those people find themselves doomed to living with ever-increasing strife and turmoil?
Is the rapid growth of the stark economic inequalities we see among the citizenry of even more prosperous nations bound to continue? Will the rich continue to get richer, while the poorer among us languish? Will we prove able to move from proclaiming, I’m alright, Jack! I got mine! to Let’s share the bounty. There’s lots to go round.? Will we help each other in a true, collective fashion, or will we turn away from each other, crying and decrying Socialism!
I wonder if, in AD 2022, empathy and inclusivity will begin to spread among the peoples of the world with respect to the acceptance of others of different race, gender, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. Or will narrow, ideological dogma continue to triumph over egalitarianism?
Will ongoing and increasing major climate changes impel even greater numbers of people living in threatened environs into forced migration to avoid environmental disaster? And where will they go? And will they be welcomed or turned away? To what extent will nationalistic, political borders trump human compassion?
Not being a crystal-ball-gazer, I have no answers to these questions, nor sure-fire solutions to the problems. I suspect no one else does, either, although many will profess to. The answers will manifest themselves over time, as we apprehensively watch the unfolding of 2022 CE.
I do have opinions and hoped-for outcomes, however, and I expect to continue to write about these in this blog for as long as I’m able. That’s not to be considered a new year’s resolution, though—I don’t make those anymore, remember?
But it’s a promise.