This has been a most memorable in the life of all people in the World, in the nature and social fabric of our society and the technological and actual manner of conducting business. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has really started.

On a local level, COVID 19 has forced each and all of us to change our way of life and understanding of our society. Whether we like it or not, our lifestyle and habits have changed and the 4th Industrial Revolution has finally made an impact on society.

Is this a good or bad thing? Good or bad is not relevant, how we adapt to meet change is?

Some will wish for the “old days” while changing habits to meet new challenges. This is good and positive and should lead to further opportunities and adventures.Others will refuse to accept the new and rebel against the changes. This is pointless and simply a lesson in futility.

While we do not embrace the new situation, rebelling is also self-defeating. Stick to what makes you comfortable but sip, taste and look to find the advantages of the new over the old. In my experience, the “office environment” could well be a thing of the past. The new “working from Home” has given rise to a return of the nuclear family and also seems to be affecting “Urban Drift” where people are leaving the rural areas and concentrating on urban opportunities.

Personally 2020 has been very good to me. The onset of “Lockdown” saw demand for the products my wife and I produce increase almost exponentially. Although the boost has not been maintained the situation remains positive. While certain regulations were wrong, insensitive and counter-productive, South Africa worked through them and realised that, as a nation, we are strong, capable, innovative and willing to persevere.

In May I had a triple bypass operation to repair damage I inflicted on my own body. I survived the experience and it has given me a renewed energy and improved outlook on life. I am grateful for my life and determined to enjoy and remain positive.  Further, I am fitter now than I have been in 15 years.

The lockdown period has been trying but the fundamental measures, washing hands, using masks and keeping our distance, which most people seem to have adopted can only benefit our nation, country and peoples positively. I hope they become habits and do not slip into oblivion.

The loss of freedom we all suffered through gives us cause to reflect and realise how valuable that freedom is. We are all called to ensure freedom is maintained and defended, especially once we are again completely free.

I am not sorry that 2020 is approaching the history books, but am content that it has given me lessons to ponder on and attitudes which will help me adapt into the future.

I wish each and every one of you a Blessed Christmas and may the best of the past be less than the worst of your future.

Keep learning and then apply what you have learned, it is the most valuable and satisfying action we all can take.

Andrew Blaine