Our New Year’s Resolution

New Year's morning outside Sparta, Greece (Photo: Georgios Kostakos)

Six points that can help guide personal and collective thinking and action for the common global good in 2019

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It is customary for many of us as individuals to set some goals at the start of the calendar year and to strive to achieve them by the end of it. These goals may have to do either with our personal life, concerning for example our relations, studies or body weight, or with our professional life, such as changing jobs, getting a promotion, etc.

What we would like to suggest to you here is a bit more all-inclusive and long-term. It is not about one specific goal but about a framework of principles within which we can place our goals and actions for the months and years to come. But let us get more clear about it.

New Year’s resolutions are usually motivated by the realisation that something is not going the way that we would like it in our life or career. So we use the symbolic new start offered by the beginning of a year to get out of an unpleasant situation or predicament by trying something new. We thus use the energy of the change of the year to launch a project of renewal for ourselves and our surroundings.

The New Year’s resolution that we propose here has as its starting point the state of our world, which is currently characterised by numerous challenges: from income inequality and job insecurity to persistent poverty and injustice, climate change impacts, resource constraints, increasing geo-political tensions, migration dilemmas, rising populism and autocratic tendencies, among other things. No lack of motivation therefore for anyone who is even partly aware of the above issues to adopt a resolution that might help improve the situation.

Of course, tackling such global challenges is not the responsibility of any single individual. What is clear, though, to any conscientious person is that the situation cannot continue as is for much longer. Changes need to be brought in urgently, otherwise they will probably be imposed in much messier ways by the circumstances.

Given the current state of the world, characterised by an apparent abdication of leadership by politicians, we ourselves need to use the energy of the change of the year to launch the project of a global renewal.

Normally, one would expect these big-picture issues to be tackled by national leaders and international institutions working in tandem. The current state of the world, though, is characterised by an apparent abdication of leadership by politicians who pursue short-term electoral concerns and capitulate to globalised and powerful interests in finance, trade, resource extraction, etc. These interests seem to have captured the initiative from and even the imagination of politicians, thinkers, artists and activists.

We increasingly realise that we cannot leave it up to anybody else but need to get involved ourselves in the business of saving the world, and our souls. To do that FOGGS, with which Katoikos is now associated, has developed “The FOGGS Hexalogue” for a globalisation that is human-centred, just and beneficial for each and every person on the planet, and for the planet itself. In its condensed form it consists of six points, reproduced below, that can help guide personal and collective thinking and action for the common good in a period of major transition.

The FOGGS Hexalogue

  1. Harmony within humanity and with planet Earth – Our overarching point
  2. States and nations, and international organisations – At the service of people, not the other way round
  3. Human diversity and tolerance, mobility and restraint – Respecting each other’s rights and accepting our responsibilities
  4. The economy at the service of humanity – Not the other way round
  5. For science and technology the sky is the limit – But don’t lose the link to society
  6. Need for active global citizenship – Our call to action

Six simple points that can hopefully help us make sense of the world we live in and what options we have to impact it in a positive way, for ourselves and for the others, for present and future generations. We encourage you to read them closely, also in their expanded and annotated version, and to explore the possibility of adopting them in your own life and work. It is a challenge but, for a change, a positive one! We are here to help as necessary, while we are also trying to adjust our own thoughts and actions according to these points.

May this be a happy, peaceful, prosperous and creative new year for you and your loved ones, and for the whole world!


The editorial team of Katoikos

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