My last blog in a year that has demanded a lot from all of us, I’ll focus after so many references to the deadly sins on the beautiful and interesting things in this year.
My personal list of the most wonderful insights and experiences 2020:
Brain implants could help people
I am an enthusiastic science fiction reader and am always amazed when technologies from my books become real here and now. This definitely includes the brain-computer interface, the development of which Elon Musk announced this year. Of course, I am aware of all the dangers (and sci-fi literature also provides plenty of input), yet I believe that technology can help us a lot. Besides, it has been doing so for a long time anyway, as brain implants already exist today for numerous medical purposes. (more here:)
Physics simply explained
Although I absolutely disliked physics at school and had difficulty recognising its usefulness, today I find the findings of astrophysics and quantum physics in particular incredibly impressive and also so important for our insights and our openness to new things.
There is no objective reality
The most important insight for me is that quantum physics proves that there is no objective truth independent of the observer. As an NLP Master, I work of course on the assumption that everyone constructs their own reality and thus has only a limited understanding of the reality of another. The theory of quantum physics, however, goes far beyond this, as it also includes the criterion of time – another category that we have only constructed in order not to be overwhelmed by reality. Donald D. Hoffmann’s book “Relatively Real” seems to be very interesting here, and I will tell you more about it next year.
Because from January onwards, in addition to my monthly blog, there will be irregular book reviews on the books that I get my hands on by chance or intentionally.
Planets found in space with Earth-like conditions
Astrophysics reported the discovery of the planet TOI 700d this year. This is an Earth-sized planet orbiting the red dwarf star TOI 700 in such a way that the conditions on it may allow life. Well, I have always been of the opinion that we are certainly not alone in the universe. This has already been confirmed in recent years by findings that located proteins on asteroids and meteorites, in some cases even on asteroids older than our solar system. Precisely these building blocks are essential for the development of life, and the current theory based on these findings is that they did not only reach our planet via meteorite impacts.
Useful ways of recycling plastic waste
In view of the fact that we are flooding the planet with plastic waste (Germany, by the way, is way ahead with 39 kg per person per year), it is extremely helpful to develop useful things from it. This is what happened with the Norwegian start-up Othalo, which will use shredded plastic waste in combination with fireproof materials to build urgently needed housing in Africa. The project will start in Nairobi in 2021.
Finally, politics has also taken up the issue of homelessness. By 2030, the EU aims to get the current 700,000 people in Europe off the streets and to secure their human right of housing. Even though there are still few proposed solutions here that take into account in particular the mental illnesses of a large number of homeless people, this is definitely a step in the right direction. If you want to support homeless people in the current situation, you can find numerous initiatives for your region and your offers of help on the net.
The number of wolves and lynxes in Germany is steadily increasing.
The number of wolves in Germany also increased in 2020 compared to the last year – although not as much as in previous years. The same applies – albeit with very low numbers – to lynx in Germany. However, Germany is still far away here from the comprehensive colonisation of the Alps and low mountain ranges that was planned for 2020. Nevertheless, as a cat lover, I am very enthusiastic about the idea of slowly growing lynx populations in Germany. Because from my point of view, we have to learn to live together with the wild animals with which we share the land.
Wild animals conquer inhabited areas
There has been a lot of inspiration for this this year in particular. In many countries, especially during the first lockdown, there was a massive reduction in traffic on roads and beaches. Thus, many cities report animals on the roads that had not been seen there before. Deer and peacocks, jackals and coyotes, wild boar and goats have been spotted in places previously reserved for humans. (nice pictures here:) Some of them will stay with us in addition to the species that have already discovered the cities as a new habitat. At least that is the hope.
Newly discovered species
Also in 2020, numerous new animal species have been discovered (or rediscovered); especially exciting when they are mammals. For example, in 2020 scientists found a third species of (very Mogwai-like) greater glider in Australia and a new species of shrew on Sulawesi. How nice that there is news like this in addition to the extinction statistics!
Mothers with three or four children tend to age more slowly
If a woman has between three and four children in her lifetime, a difference in health becomes apparent after the menopause. The researchers assume (source), that the female sex hormones buffer the negative side effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding, so to speak, and that this effect becomes more apparent after the onset of menopause and with the disappearance of the sex hormones. This is once again an indication of evolution and the very original mechanisms that are still at work – completely unaffected by rapid population growth, the climate crisis or the gender debate.
Sites with good news
Like me, a number of other people apparently found that only crisis and catastrophe news is nothing to cope with in the long run. And so I would like to share with you a number of websites where you can find interesting and positive news from all over the world in addition to the negative information in the daily media.
- Readers Digest good news (https://www.readersdigest.ca/culture/good-news-stories-world/)
Here you will find funny, touching, thought-provoking short information from all areas of our lives and from all possible corners of our planet.
- Good news, talks and gifts (https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/category/news/)
Another site about good news worldwide from all kinds of areas. Here you will also find videos on special topics and a shop with products that all support a social project.
- Only positive news (https://nur-positive-nachrichten.de/gute-nachrichten)
A German site about good news. Here you will find many positive examples from all areas of life. But not only that, there are also tips for motivation and inner peace as well as the possibility to contribute to this site (financially and with your own articles).
- News from the neuroscience (https://neurosciencenews.com/)
Since I somehow always consider the latest news from science to be good news, I like to read on this portal what’s new in the field of brain research. Here you can find scientific articles from brain research, from neurology and psychology, but also from robotics, genetics and neurotechnology.
- The latest news from the science (http://www.sci-news.com/)
Basically, this site offers the same as the previous one, except that it also includes fields that I am particularly interested in as a former historian, such as palaeontology or archaeology. But you can also find genetics and astronomy, physics and space travel here.
Under the influence of these numerous positive news, I would like to encourage you to use the end of the year to figure out what the year 2020 has taught you in terms of new and positive insights, new experiences and convictions. For the outlook on 2021, you should also reflect on what you did not succeed in this year – but from the point of view of how you want to deal with this topic in the next year.
I myself have had very good experiences with the use of the christmastide. There are a million instructions for this on the internet, where you will also find something suitable if you want to.
I myself use the very early morning hours (between 04.00 and 05.00) from 20.12. to 01.01., i.e. the 12 nights (and 11 days) that remain after the twelfth moon pass in the year. Early mornings, because at least in the area where I live there is not much going on at that time and I am not a night person. You can do it just as well at midnight, late evening or even before 04.00h. I make myself comfortable in my mini meditation room with candles and smoke and go through one of the following questions every day:Who helped and assisted me?
- Who helped and assisted me?
- What went well – ideas, behaviours, relationships, solutions?
- What did I understand / learn?
- What was I grateful for?
- What was missing to achieve my goals – of the things that were my responsibility?
- What do I want to leave behind in terms of people, ideas, ways of behaving and thinking?
- What is important to me for the next year?
- What do I want to have achieved at the end of the next year?
- What is the most important thing so that at the end of the next year I can say that it was a good year?
- What attitude do I want to have towards my life next year?
- What do I want to learn / understand in the next year?
- What do I want to give to other people in the next year?
Focusing on these specific questions makes it easier for me to concentrate on the essential things. Of course, you can also – if you have – use your vision board for the past year and the one for the next year to clarify once again what exactly your goals were and what hindered you and how this is reflected in your new vision board.
On each of the 12 mornings, I draw one tarot card from the major arcana (cards 0-21) and one from the minor arcana (the remaining cards) to get a hint of what the motto of each month of the next year might be and what can help me with that.
Of course, in retrospect, the cards always fit – whether this is due to my interpretation or to the fact that I actually focused on certain themes suggested by the cards is left to your own evaluation.
However, the reflection on the above-mentioned questions also works without tarot cards, if you only show yourself to be open to the questions.
In any case, I wish you a wonderful end of the year and an outstanding start into 2021.