A Modest Wish

Experience the warmth of a heartfelt wish for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. Discover the beauty in modest aspirations and their impact on our lives.

A slightly belated welcome to 2024! In this part of Germany, not much happens before January 6, which fell on a Saturday this year. I will skip the customary wishes for success, health, and happiness this year. My guess is that most of you have more than enough pressure and expectations placed upon you without me adding to it. So, I won’t. This year’s message contains but a modest wish.

The end of the year is a great time – in-between social occasions – to curl up with and be transported by a good work of fiction. If it transports us emotionally so that we’re there with the characters, our levels of empathy increase over time. We have known this since Bal and Veltkamp’s 2013 PlosOne paper.

As I read Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Booker Prize winner, 2023), I couldn’t help but be drawn into Eilish Stack’s attempts to protect her family after her trade unionist husband, Larry, had been arrested by the secret police in a dystopian near-future version of Ireland. The author skilfully transports us into her life as she navigates the increasingly authoritarian state and later when civil war breaks out.

I deliberately won’t say too much about how the plot unfolds so as not to spoil it for you, for it is worth reading. Any such book is important to read, as enhancing empathy enhances our emotional intelligence – a key trait for good leadership. This can help you in all your leadership relationships: with your team, your colleagues and collaborators, with your admin, and with your upper management.

Ten minutes a day suffices; it can be a great way to unwind before lights out. So, pick up a book and be transported in 2024. One day at a time.

2 thoughts on “A Modest Wish”

  1. You really have me tempted now CJ, nice review and I won’t get past the bookshop tomorrow without thinking of your recommendation. Hope to meet you in 2024 here in Ireland for a good chat.

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