Vision 20/20: The Year of the Rat

2020 is nearly upon us in the US.  It’s 2020 in Asia now.  I type from the past, as friends from the future wish me a happy and prosperous 2020.   This is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac, which will formally begin January 25, 2020.  The Rat is the first of the 12 animals the Chinese choose to represent each year of the cycle.  The 12 year cycle in order is:  Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.  Why is the rat number one?

The Rat and the Ox Strike a Deal

In one popular version, the Jade Emperor (Emperor in Heaven) ordered that animals would be designated as calendar signs and the 12 who arrived first would be chosen in order.  The day of the race, the rat arose early.  On the way, the rat met the ox.  The ox was much faster.  The rat, being ingenious and creative, formed a plan. He made a deal with the straight shooting ox.  He would sing for the ox on the journey if the ox would carry him on his back.   The ox arrived first and thought he would be the first to represent the zodiac year one.  Alas, the rat jumped from the ox’s back to arrive just before the ox crossed the finish line.  The rat became the first lucky animal in the Chinese Zodiac.

Why the Cat Hates the Rat

Before the great race, the cat and the rat were good friends.  When the news of the selection process became known to them, the cat said, “We should arrive early to sign up, but I usually get up late.”  The rat promised to wake the cat up.  When the morning came, the rat was too excited to remember his promise, and failed to awaken the cat.  The cat was late to the race and when he finally arrived at the finish, the selection was finished.  To this day, the cat hates the rat, and will chase the rat and kill it each time they meet.

What will 2020 Bring to Your Life?

2020 is 20/20.  It is a year of vision.  It is the year Metal Rat.  This is the first year of a 12 year cycle, and it’s a good one for all Chinese Zodiac signs.   As always, you must be aware of the challenges ahead, plan accordingly and navigate well.  Choose your friends wisely, focus you your health in this year of renewal.  Mind and body work together.    Make 2020 a year of discovery and travel if you can.  Explore the deep cultures that exist in our world.  Recognize that America is a young, brash and often naive culture.  These qualities of “youth” can be our greatest strength, but if we don’t respect some of our “elder” cultures, we may find ourselves lacking.   Join hands and share in 2020.

Applai in 2020

We will continue to work in Thailand and SE Asia discovering new remedies to bring into your lives.  In 2020, we will announce our partnerships in Thailand as we begin to build relationships and continue our valuable friendships with the amazing people we meet.  Applai is committed to social engagement and social enterprise.  Take a moment to review those terms.  We see SE/SE as partnerships that create an opportunity to learn and share.

Best wishes in this new year, the Year of the Metal Rat.