Jack McCall column

McCall

The year of our Lord 2020 is upon us. For the purposes of this column, let’s call it 20-20. It has been said that hindsight is 20-20. I’m not so sure. It has also been said that the greatest lesson of history is that man doesn’t learn from history. Hence, “history is doomed to repeat itself.” We’ve seen it, and we will probably see it again.

Normal vision is considered to be 20-20. Of course, you can’t see what lies ahead even if you have 20-20 vision. So let’s consider what 2020 will bring.

Business motivational speaker Jim Rohn was once asked how things would be for the next 10 years. He offered his best estimate by answering, “Things will be for the next 10 years about like they have always been.” That was not the answer his questioner was expecting.

In light of his answer, let’s consider the year ahead. I suspect 2020 will be filled with highs and lows, good and bad, triumph and tragedy, the indescribable and the unimaginable. I suspect some things will turn out the way we expected, but I’ll bet we are in for a few surprises. You never can tell. Someone else has said, “Life is iffy” or full of uncertainty. They got that right.

If you are like me, your life has not played out like you thought it would. Life has thrown me a few curves along the way. I’ve been forced to make a few mid-course corrections. I’ve had the breath knocked out of me a few times.

As my late mother was prone to say, “This life is no place for the faint of heart.”

I am inclined to go with the old adage, “Life is what you make it.” It’s not so much the cards you are dealt, but how you play your hand.

So, how will you play your hand in 2020? 

Here are a few suggestions that might improve the odds of your having a fulfilling and productive 2020.

Let me suggest you take better care of yourself from a physical standpoint. The fact that our health care system has become so industrialized makes it more important than ever that you take more responsibility for your health.

I have a cousin who went to the doctor with back problems not too long ago. The doctor advised the issue could be resolved with surgery. However, he suggested that my cousin lose 8-10 pounds and start walking a mile each day, and the problem might go away. It did. 

Here’s another suggestion for making 2020 a better year. Make a conscience decision to spend more time with the people who are most important to you, especially your grandchildren, if you are fortunate enough to have any. Let the words of an old song be a subtle warning. “Turn around and you’re two. Turn around and you’re four. Turn around, you’re a young man (woman) going out of the door.” Some windows of opportunity close more quickly than others.

Look for opportunities to lighten the load for someone else. My mother often quoted an old black preacher who used to declare, “All God’s chil’en got troubles.” A wise grandmother once advised her granddaughter, “Everyone you meet is a little bit lonely.” And so it is. Everyone could use a kind word or a little nudge in the right direction. You won’t have to look hard to find the opportunity.

Put your best foot forward. Every single person is good at something. I’ve often heard it said, “Dance with the one who brought you.” Focus on your strength and not your weakness. Offer your best to make a difference in the world.

Helen Keller, blind and deaf, said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Nurture your adventurous spirit. Take a few chances. Do some things you have only dreamed of. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

There comes a time in life when you could if you would, but you didn’t. Then there comes a time when you would if you could, but you can’t. Don’t let life pass you by.

And finally, if you want to make the most of 2020, ask for God’s help. I am not a theologian, but I have been around long enough to come to the conclusion it makes a real difference.

Jack McCall is a motivational humorist, southern storyteller and author. A native Middle Tennessean, he is recognized on the national stage as a certified speaking professional.

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