2019 saw devastating (some call them “unprecedented”) bushfires in Australia, the Amazon, California and Russia.
The streets of Hong Kong, Paris, and other major capitals were continuously rocked with protest.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka were the targets of mass shooting and bombing.
Intense hurricanes in the Caribbean and the US caused massive damage.
The world’s wealth was concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.
The leader of the world’s most powerful nation faced impeachment.
Nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsular rose, fell, and rose back again.
Amidst all this almost the only ones voicing a vision for the future were the youth of the world. By now Greta Thunberg’s name will be a household one. There are many others: advocating for climate action, water rights, anti-gun lobbyists, the rights of girls and women.
So, will 2020 bring us 20/20 vision?
20/20 vision is defined as normal visual acuity and means that you can see clearly from 20 feet what should normally be able to be seen at 20 feet.
If, however, you have 20/100 vision it means that you have to be as close as 20 feet to an object that others would be able to see from 100 feet away.
Metaphorically then, it would seem that young people are able to clearly see 100 feet into the future. Meanwhile the partial blindness of many of the world’s leaders makes them unwilling to take the steps that would bring them within 20 feet of that future.
More To Vision
There is more to vision than 20/20 though. If I may be permitted to extend the metaphor a bit further; vision is also characterised by peripheral awareness, depth perception, colour, and the ability to focus.
A vision for the future then could include the ability to:
- recognise how things are inter-connected (peripheral awareness)
- understand the many layers of cause and effect, rather than one-dimensional linearity (depth perception)
- not become distracted by false news, political red-herrings, name calling, blaming and shaming (focus)
- make discerning and considered judgements, not based on prejudice (colour recognition).
Will 2020 be the year that humans arrive at a shared vision?