The advice I'm giving myself is to be prepared for anything, to learn from the Jews who left Germany in 1938. Lives and the bonds of family are infinitely more important than wealth and property. Change can come suddenly, violently and unpredictably and we will need one another, will need to rediscover the benefits of mutual assistance, once the realisation comes that governments will be as powerless and insecure as a fishing shack before a Tsunami.
There's also been a shakeout going on around the world in which the division is marked not by politics or ideology but but by morality. Those who would follow the Archangel Michael and take a spear to the Devil, who would oppose sleaze, peculation, jobbery, corruption, fraud, deception, nepotism, inequity, selfishness and the compassionless exploitation and use of others please line up this side. We're going to be fighting hard against a determined enemy in 2012.
As for currencies and economies, the Euro will collapse in 2012 of course, as will the economies of Greece, Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and probably France. Yes, Japan. And intergenerational conflict will loom large - and not as simple as generations X and Y versus the boomers. We boomers must really learn that life is about quality, not quantity, and that sucking in the resources of the planet to extend our lives by another quarter-year really isn't the most equitable use of resources. Frankly, we need to start dying in larger numbers. Then X and Y can have our stuff whilst they're young enough to enjoy it.
There will be destruction and disorder; our traditions, our honour, our kinships will be thrown down as much as our churches and our council halls. We must rebuild. We must make an alliance between the generations that uses the strength of the young and the wisdom of the old together to build anew our communities and culture.
Over Christmas a memory has returned of something I've forgotten for forty years - the late-night service of Compline we used to celebrate in the school chapel. It's always been my favourite text in the breviary (well, the pre-1974 version, anyway) not least because my Latin at the time was good enough to realise that
Hostémque nostrum cómprime,
Ne polluántur córpora
Ne polluántur córpora
Didn't quite mean the same as the sanitised version sung by the monks;
Our ghostly enemy restrain,
Lest ought of sin our bodies stain.
But mainly I loved the line "Brethren, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour".
And if I've any advice to impart for 2012, that's it.