What have you achieved this year? Have you become more environmentally friendly? Have you become fitter, faster or better at something? Have you done something you are really proud of? Helped poor people? People in difficulty, people in crisis, people in hospital? Have you been a good father? Mother? Sister? Brother? Son? Daughter? Are you ending your year on a high note, feeling good about yourself, your family, your friends, your community? And more importantly are they feeling good about you?


I certainly hope so. But what if all is not good? What are your plans for 2018? How in fact can we become “better”? What does that mean? Have you really thought about it? It’s a good time to think about the future while you are here on holiday!

I also asked “The Island of Bali” all these questions recently and sadly did not really get the right answers. Here they are:

“Yes, we have achieved greater visitor numbers this year so we are very proud”. OK that’s good. “But we have not really improved our environmental position very much, in fact that’s becoming a bit of a problem”. Well that is not good. What else?

“Our record helping the poor and needy could certainly be improved. But as families we Balinese are very close and together. So we should be okay”. Well not really. That means that the poor are still not being helped?

“Honestly we are still facing the same problems of traffic, waste disposal, water quality, poor development zoning, and social inequality as we were last year, despite the greatly increased tax revenues”. I wonder why that is?

“Anyway overall I think we probably lost ground based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) because many people are still focused on becoming “more successful” before they start helping other people. Isn’t that okay?” Well not really, the idea is to share the benefits of development and to ensure that the environment, the community and the culture don’t get damaged in the process.

Achieving at least some of the SDG’s should be everyone’s ambition so to both you as people and Bali as a destination, please try to do better next year.

Maybe we all should try to do better too?

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G Speirs, OBE, is the Publisher of NOW! Magazines. He has been in the publishing, advertising and PR business for the last 25 years. He started both NOW! Bali and NOW! Jakarta as each region's preferred community magazine.