Fate or Fortune? Just Who or What Is Really in Control of All Our Destinies?; PSYCHOLOGY: World Events Impact Heavily on Our Behaviour

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 5, 2002 | Go to article overview

Fate or Fortune? Just Who or What Is Really in Control of All Our Destinies?; PSYCHOLOGY: World Events Impact Heavily on Our Behaviour


Byline: JOANNE ATKINSON

YOUR life during the next 12 months is going to be partly determined by a series of events that are completely out of your control.

Let's cast our minds forward to December 31, 2002. Who and what will have influenced our lives in the intervening 12 months?

There are some obvious issues, figures and events that will shape the coming year - the continuing war against terrorism, the euro, the economy, the Queen's Golden Jubilee, the football World Cup - but there will also be unexpected happenings and unlikely stars.

After all, who would have predicted that a hairdresser from Cwmbran would have become one of the most recognisable figures in the country last year?

Local, national and international events can have a massive effect on the psyche of the nation.

Dr Lance Workman of the University of Glamorgan psychology department said, "Although personal events, such as getting married, or changing your job, have the greatest influence on someone's life, these can be influenced via a knock-on effect from bigger events.

"For example, if the economy isn't doing very well, and you lose your job, that can cause depression - and vice versa.

"If Cardiff won the City of Culture 2008 bid, that should have a positive effect, resulting in people feeling pride in the Welsh nation. And when the Welsh rugby or football team are winning, this also causes the mood of the public to lift, even if it's only a short-term effect."

Dr Workman said international events such as the September 11 attacks also influence our moods.

"I think a lot of people are currently in a state of uncertainty about the terrorist attacks, " he said.

"They are unsure whether it's a one-off horrific event, or if another atrocity will be committed. If Osama bin Laden were to be captured, I think most people in this country would feel that justice had been done, and would be very happy as a result."

Wish list for 2002 Osama bin Laden and the AlQaeda network are brought to justice.

The results of free-flowing Objective One funding begins to bear fruit for the Welsh economy.

Iestyn Harris scores a hat trick of tries in a crushing Welsh victory over England at Twickenham on the way to a long-awaited Grand Slam.

Ioan Gruffudd wins best actor at the Oscars after landing the role of James Bond. The soundtrack to the new spy film is sung by Cerys Matthews, in a triumphant musical resurgence.

Iwan Thomas wins gold at the Commonwealth Games after a series of injuries.

Cardiff City win the FA Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium - or failing that the Division Two play-off final. Swansea and Wrexham avoid relegation.

Phil Price sinks the winning putt of the Ryder Cup at the Belfry, cheered on by vice-captain Ian Woosnam.

Catherine Zeta Jones returns to Wales and pours millions of pounds into her home team Swansea City FC, turning it into Wales's first football superclub.

The People and events that will shape yor life International War against Terrorism One person who undoubtedly achieved notoriety during 2001 was Osama bin Laden. Recently voted the most hated man in the world, above Hitler, bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network perpetrated the most shocking terrorist attacks in history in cities across America.

His fate, and how it is achieved, and how quickly, is likely to dominate world events in 2002. …

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