How can we see reality as it is in 2024?

Sanne Breimer
5 min readDec 31, 2023
Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

Goals goals goals

A friend sent me a meme this week with the text “My goal in 2024 is to accomplish the goals I set in 2023 which I should have done in 2022 because I made a promise in 2021 which I planned in 2020”. I thought of it today, New Year’s Eve, regarding the resolutions for 2024. One year ago I decided I wanted to read more books, meditate more, seek more collaboration, run more, do more yoga, and a lot ‘more’. I did a lot and the collaboration part succeeded, but many of the other goals can be passed on to the next year.
Is that a bad thing? Well, no I don’t think so. Does it mean goals are useless? Nope. It just lays bare that I like to set goals but I don’t make them smart enough to achieve them. I think making goals smart is smart but I don’t like the word smart. I don’t like any of the business-related words to optimize my life. I just want to live. And so, even though I first thought it was a great idea to write this blog about smart goals, I am probably not the right person to do so.

What you see is what you get in Gaza

What should I write about then? I am lost for words. I don’t know what to say (yet) in 2024. I read the success lists on LinkedIn of people’s achievements and even though I’m proud of all the things I did in 2023, I don’t feel like sharing mine. All success has a shadow side and it doesn’t mean we should not share our accomplishments but without the dark side, nothing is complete. And almost nobody shares their shadow on social media, except some people in my Dutch timeline who announce their death which then is a bit too much if you ask me. Authenticity is preached as business language continuously but how many of us excel in the quality of being genuine or real?
If I ask this question out loud I immediately think of the journalists in Gaza reporting about the war on the ground. There is no time or space to sugarcoat reality in Gaza. What you see is what you get. And we get it by tons of imagery directly in our timelines daily. It is part of the reason why I am lost for words. What else to say when people are fighting for their lives in real-time? We can only watch and share and like and add the hashtag CeasefireNow.

The dark side of life

Naomi Klein’s book Doppelganger: A Trip Into The Mirror World has to do with our shadow sides too. We all have doppelgangers. Be it people who look like us physically or the personas we create of ourselves on social media. And then there is our dark side, the part of us we don’t like to expose too much for good reasons. Klein writes how ignoring the obscurity of our lives creates problems: not grappling with a violent history of slavery is hunting our societies today, and not looking at the oppressed people in Palestine is turning a blind eye to the excessive violence of Israel. She links the huge amount of time we spend online to the blunt denial of the state of our societies and our planet. We don’t want to see it.
The meditation philosophy I follow teaches me to see reality as it is, not as I like it to be. It is in line with what Klein concludes in Doppelganger. But how do we do that? I learned to observe the sensations in my body because what we feel comes before our thinking. We need to learn to listen to our bodies and make use of all our senses — and not just the seeing and the hearing that are overstimulated. When we can sit with ourselves and with all the sensations going on continuously, without reacting by walking away, silencing or in any way suppressing what is happening, we can experience reality within the framework of our bodies. And when we master that skill, or at least become better at it, it will become easier in our work life to do the same.

Take the right action

And from embracing the good and the bad and the complexity of issues we can then take action. Not just any action, but — in meditation language — the right action. Klein is also calling for action. The focus of her work has been on climate change for the last decade. The urgency is clear but our behavior is going almost in the opposite direction. We don’t want to confront ourselves with the state of our planet too much because it is just unbearable. And so we find distractions in our digital doppelgangers. To act in the right way also means to create joint goals. Divisiveness within the climate change movement is one of the reasons Klein herself became unmotivated.
While writing this the idea of what to say in 2024 becomes more clear. I want to continue raising awareness about how our colonial past matters in our lives today and why journalists must educate themselves about decoloniality. It will show how the challenges in journalism regarding the lack of representation, the crisis around wellbeing and the big topics like climate change and inequality are all connected. For this to succeed a collective effort and bridging divisions is needed. I will set a goal to write daily blogs about the topic in the new year and make myself clearer.

Wishing you a happy, calm and visa-free 2024 and a ceasefire now.



Sanne Breimer

Exploring the solutions to the lack of inclusion in journalism, focusing on decolonising journalism and discussing whiteness, Eurocentrism and objectivity.