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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 3, 2020
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Come To Think Of It
with Carlos Antonio L. Leonardia

2020 Happy New Decade!


They say that hindsight is always 20/20 vision. Now that its 2020, let us think about starting the decade right by using the special and freely available gift of hindsight to help us chart a better course for the coming days, months and years.

The thing about the gift of hindsight is that while it is freely available for everyone to use, not a lot of people use it and just like the uncommon gifts of common sense and common decency, these abilities have to be used and practiced regularly to be anywhere near effective.

20/20 vision is something I used to take for granted when I had good eyesight. But a couple of years after turning 40, my eyes started showing signs of aging and now that perfect vision is a thing of my past, I can see why it was a big deal. Reading fine print without needing to squint, step back, or don a pair of glasses is now like looking into a semi-blurry future. The power of 20/20 hindsight will be critical to those of us who want their future and this decade to be better.

In the simplest terms, hindsight is what reminds us where that steaming pile of dog poop was on the sidewalk so we don’t step on it again. Those more sensitive to it do not need to actually step on the poop to learn the lesson while the less sensitive ones will have to step on the poop and suffer the consequence of cleaning crap off a perfectly good shoe before remembering where that incident occurred.

All the mistakes, victories, right and wrong decisions that we have made through the years should make us smarter and wiser and that is because of hindsight. As we enter the new decade and advance in age and hopefully, wisdom; how we use that gift of hindsight will determine the path and quality of our futures.

But before we put the hindsight we have accumulated over the years to good news, the new year/decade should also be an opportunity for us, especially those with young families, to review and renew the core values we stand for. Core values gain significant importance for parents in this day and age, especially given the quality and examples being set by many of our leaders and so-called “influencers.” What kind of people do we look up to? Is it ok to ignore the behavior of certain people or do we need to confront our kids regarding those behaviors so they don’t grow up thinking that “bastos” is normal and God forbid, right? Do our family members have an idea of what is acceptable and what is not? Is it ok for your kids to see you sacrificing core values for the sake of chasing after opportunities that could dry out when the current values that make it possible to be rich and powerful beyond imagination are no longer on trend?

If you come to think of it, families that don’t have core values might have an advantage since they have nothing to stop them from doing anything they want. As long as they have powerful friends and know the right people, there should be no problem. This is a privilege that belongs to a lot of the world’s top 1 percent but a lot of middle class social climbers seem to think that they can get away with the same lack of values and that probably explains why our world is so messed up right now.

Unfortunately for the idealists who still believe in bearing the burden of imparting the right values upon their kids, this decade should prove to be a continuing challenge because while they know that values are important, there is not yet enough hindsight to prove just how important they are. Most of the fancy up and comers we see these days have absolutely no values and principles to speak of, leading a lot of the youth to think that it is no longer necessary. My gut tells me hindsight will prove them wrong one day in the not so distant future but it make take a few more years before we can see that. If not, then those bastos and unprincipled people would be proven right and those who chose to value values will have to play catch up. Although for my kids and their generation’s sake, I’m hoping that never happens because I cannot imagine such a world.

We are just starting this year/decade. If we haven’t done so yet, we owe ourselves the time to think about using the power of hindsight to determine our strategies on how we would like to face the coming months and years. What kind of people do we admire, whose example we want our kids to follow? We can look back at what those people have done in the past and currently do in the present to see what sort of course we should set for ourselves and our families this 2020 and the decade that follows.

I have seen with my own eyes how the passage of time doesn’t improve our vision. I have also survived enough years in this world to confirm that no matter how our eyes may fail, hindsight is still 20/20 vision and the further we can look back, the clearer our outlook for the future becomes. Whether that clarity beckons success or disaster, it is up to your point of view.

Let us welcome the new decade with a deep appreciation of what we have gone through, good and bad, over the years. And let us use that appreciation to chart the course of our future the best we can, so the 20’s can be the best decade. People my age will be spending this decade in our mid 40’s to 50’s, and from what I hear, that’s our best chance to make a mark. Hopefully we can use that time to do good and do well instead of succumbing to the temptation and allow ourselves to be broken down by the bad.*  

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