Chinese New Year of the Dog is here! With the new moon rising the evening of February 15, China enters a new lunisolar year.
The event marks the largest human mass migration on the planet as people stream to home towns and provinces for traditional family reunions; it also serves as a reminder that more than a quarter of Earth’s population is strongly impacted by Chinese tradition, converged with the natural cycles of nature.
Friends have asked me whether the Dog Year is lucky or not – truly optimistic, I tell them it is DEFINITELY auspicious. True to Chinese culture, there are few “absolutes” in life – you decide importance relevant to yourself, your views, your relationships. Context dictates everything, so given the option, WHY NOT decide that this is a lucky year?! Of course there are some precautions – if you are born in the year of the dog, you should wear a red belt or red underwear to dispel evil spirits, but other than that, the year will be what you make it!
My top predictions and unsolicited advice for this year:
- Individuals can still make a difference. Despite the prevalence of global corporations, widening income gaps, and technological advances, what you do as an individual human being does matter. Take this responsibility seriously. Think about what you can give instead of what you can get. In my experience this always yields better results and unanticipated benefits.
- Global perspective still matters. Our world is interconnected. Pro or con on globalization, I daresay global interconnectedness impacts 99% of the population and is not going away. Retreating to a nationalist. jingoistic, fearful corner is a disadvantage. The more you know, the more powerful you can be. Retrenching to a parochial vantage point is comforting but not advancing. Go learn more about what it is that bothers you.
- People are not that different, and human connection is still of primary importance. Regardless of advances in technology, algorithm-generated truths, and digitally-enabled transactions, person-to-person engagement is what enriches and sustains us. Do not lose this capability. Practice being with people, talking to people, valuing people as individuals. This is something technology cannot capture.
DOGS KNOW – they recognize individuals, they react to the environment, they bond. In this Year of the Dog my recommendation is that you do the same. Know people, value people, value yourself. This is my goal as well.