A New Year! Once again we have embarked on the journey into a brand new year, and the excitement is all around us, isn’t it?
I watched on the television as people on the other side of the world celebrated exuberantly with fireworks, etc. hours ahead of our own festivities. And when the clock tolled midnight here in the Eastern Time Zone the champagne flowed, the tears fell, kisses were shared, and numberless voices welcomed the coming of the New Year!
It’s just another day, isn’t it? I mean, nothing has really changed except the way we write the date on our checks, right?
But something about it engages the hearts and minds of people all around the world, at least in the developed countries. We celebrate. We dream of new adventures. We embark on journeys that we hope will be fulfilling and (truthfully) satisfying beyond our wildest dreams.
We lay aside the sadnesses and disappointments of the previous 365 days, and hope for better days ahead. Interestingly enough, we celebrate this new beginning with a fervor that rivals the piety and religiosity of the most dedicated spiritualists, whether we be men or women of faith, or not. For at least one moment in time . . . as the clock strikes 12 . . . we are unified in our hope, and expectant both as individuals and as a people.
And it is almost magical. At least for a while.
As I pondered this phenomenon I was struck with the realization that every day holds the same promise. Does it not?
Doesn’t each new sunrise provide us with the exquisite opportunity to right our wrongs, change our ways, and revitalize our relationships?
What if we somehow were able to harness that New Year’s Eve excitement? What if, as individuals, and as a people, we learned to see each New Day in that same light? Wow!
And why not?
Isn’t that what the saints and thinkers we most admire are known for? Living in the moment? Making each new day the most special day yet? Perfecting the art of valuing other persons in a way that empowers them and revives them? Fully actualized and present in every possible moment?
Well? What’s the secret? What’s the magic mantra that makes it all happen? How do I receive this monumental realization that is bypassed by so many? [One must ponder that for one’s self].
“The future isn’t what it used to be. Only today is all that’s promised me,” sang the Judds many years ago.
The fascinating and incomprehensibly beautiful thing about life is that we receive a daily reprieve with each sunrise, a brand new chance to change our world, an opportunity to better ourselves and others that happens so regularly (like clockwork) that we fail to sense its awesome quality.
That’s why the only New Year’s Resolution that makes any real sense to me comes from Ebenezer Scrooge: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” May we follow his example.
So . . . Happy New Year!
Today. And . . . every day.