The danger of high new-year expectations

As a new year looms, we want to turn our backs on the previous one and dream of a better one to come. There is nothing wrong with dreaming, but it is prudent to temper expectations so as to avoid disappointment. Many might call this pessimism, but it is simply not hoping for the impossible. I did not always think this way, but life lessons taught me the difference between dreams and reality.

Realizing the huge gap between the two comes at a high price.

In looking forward to a better future, all nations embark at various paces on the road to change. Some leaders, led by their egos, steer their nations in whatever direction they like, ignoring laws that remind responsible drivers of potential dangers to themselves and others.

Many might call this pessimism, but it is simply not hoping for the impossible

Bakir Oweida

Many leaders worldwide, of countries or otherwise, pretend to want the good of the people while ignoring legitimate rights for a better life. Self-motivated leadership is as dangerous as self-diagnosing illness, as if one knows better than a doctor. Both lead to a worsening of a situation.

Last Thursday, in her annual Christmas massage, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth touched upon issues of great human importance, such as reconciliation and healing. Without enough effort toward healing war wounds, conciliation will never materialize.

The same applies to bridging painful gaps between high expectations and devastating disappointments, on an individual and collective level.

If high-flying leaders keep promising their peoples the impossible, there will be painful consequences. A very realistically happy 2015 to all.


Bakir Oweida is a journalist who has worked as Managing Editor, and written for several Arab publications based in London. His last executive post was Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, responsible for the Opinions section, until December 2003. He can be reached on and

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.