Another year. 2016 turns into 2017. The past is gone. The future remains. We all believe that everything will be different, new, exciting. But is it really?
What is the New Year after all? Another man-made artifice to slice time into bite-size pieces we can accept and understand. Then again, what is wrong with starting again?
Nothing, so long as we don’t forget the lessons of the past. And how could we? The lessons from our pasts are ingrained in our being, set into the stone of out lives, even if they shouldn’t be. Nature doesn’t need a set day to remember that fall should turn into winter, winter to spring or any other division between then and now.
So why do we need a New Year?
We have gone so far beyond our beginnings, that we need something to slow our lives down even if it is for just one night. Some way to celebrate what we leave behind and what awaits in our future. In the past, there were ceremonies, rituals, keeping man in tune to the natural world, ways to celebrate we no longer understand.
Today, we do have rituals. Party hats and champagne and a ball dropping in New York’s Times Square. Man-made rituals. Hedonist rituals allowing us to pretend that we can start anew. We make resolutions, but how many last? We promise ourselves we will do better, be better, know better; artificial statements in an increasing artificial world.
Does this make us happier or better? Maybe, or maybe just drunk enough to pretend all is well. That we aren’t lost in the artificial world all around us; bigger houses, fancier cars, larger TVs, more money, more, more, more. Prettier clothes. More plastic surgery. All to make us feel better, newer, happier.
Ask yourself this as the new years starts: Am I happy? Are my words and actions meant to spread love and kindness, or are they meant to hurt those around me? Can I stand up, even if it is by myself, and say, “I want the world to be a better place and it starts with me.” Can I say, “I want peace.” In me, in my own world and in the extended world around me.
Hatred isn’t the opposite of love. Fear is. The fear of failure, of pain, of being less than, losing what we think we deserve. Do I deserve everything I have when there are children in my county, my city; hunger and homeless? Afraid? Can we resolve that this year, 2017, we will be kinder, gentler, nicer to those around us. That we will share not only what we have, but who we are. We will open ourselves to others, not close ourselves off.
It’s not hard and these resolutions are so much more important than losing those last five pounds or going regularity to the gym. There is nothing wrong with wanting the best for ourselves, but in order to save ourselves, we need to save the world, each one of us, one word and action at a time.
So, this year, instead of only thinking of those five pounds or eating better or going to the gym, think about peace and love and holding out a hand to help those around you instead of knocking them down.
This year, let our resolutions be not only for ourselves, but for the world.