I'm keeping an eye on the news today. It doesn't matter to me where you stand on political issues, but we will likely agree that history will recall this period of time as a time of enormous upheaval. We are in a state of relative chaos. Donald Trump has engaged in a very public argument with some Congressional Leaders, while Robert Mueller investigates his lawyers, whilst Ms. Theresa May has been locked in her own vehicle while her Brexit deal begins to crumble. Whatever comes of these events, next year does not promise any of us the return of peaceful good order. But maybe that's ok.
It is the way of human minds to seek certainty. If a stimulus is ambiguous, our brains tend to make something meaningful of it, so we don't have to wonder, and can react. I like to think this allows us to make good decisions with minimal information, but sometimes it just causes us to see a threat in the movements of the shadow of a tree branch, or a face in the gleam of light on a window.
The false threats put us on alert, though, and with complacency rampant, that could prove to be a good thing. Regardless of the outcome for Mr. Trump, he has brought some of the flaws in our system to light, things that need our attention. Whether you believe him to be a criminal or a saint, or somewhere between, he has pressed the lines between what is a 'norm' and what is 'required', and we would do well to make sure that we, the American People, know where we want those lines drawn, and draw them firmly, so that they cannot be tested again.
In the UK, the Brexit deal, or the lack of it, has raised questions of what it means to be a sovereign nation in a world that is deeply connected financially while remaining divided on social issues. We all rely on international trade to keep our costs down and raise the standard of living for everyone involved. But breaking ties with the EU is complex, and has far reaching consequences, many of which we will not know until the deal is finished, in whatever way it is finished.
All we can do is step into the abyss, and hope the face that has been looking back at us is fairly friendly.