I swing between two poles: optimism that 2013 will be better than 2012, pessimism that everything is set to get worse. What did Gramsci say? ‘Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will’. Choose optimism; it’s the only thing to do, but don’t leave the future to chance or to fate. Act to define it. Free Palestine! End the civil war in Syria! Withdraw from Afghanistan! Oppose an attack on Iran! Fight for justice, human rights and development. But don’t forget the old lady next door, or the abused child, or the stray dog. They test our humanity too! Keep fighting!