There’s a woman who does predictions by squeezing a piece of asparagus against a wall. I’ve never seen her do it, so it could be quite interesting and edifying. But I doubt it.

It’s just that, well, I’m not a big fan of predicting the future. I would sometimes send my horoscope to a friend in Australia who is the same sign as me, and ask her if it came true – that’s about it.

The asparagus reader has predicted that there will be another split in the royal family (not necessarily a surprise); that there will be changes to the way professional athletes are paid (considering most seasons are disrupted and shortened and mutated, that’s not a surprise either); and interestingly that the most popular name for boys this year will be Gus (really?).

The one that did intrigue me, though, was her prediction that people will become kinder and more tolerant. Gee I hope so.

If we thought before we spoke – or better yet, if we thought (and reread) before we hit the “send” button on emails and posts – the world would be a better place.

If we would smile more, not assuming that anyone who smiles is about to ask you for money.

If we tried to find ways to help others, and then acted on them.

If we committed ourselves to seeking, and demanding, justice, even though it’s seldom very popular with those in power.

Think of the possibilities.