This Sunday is New Year’s Day. On the one hand, it’s just another day and it’s designation as the start of a new year is arbitrary (after all, different calendars have different dates). On the other hand, the New Year reflects a desire for a new start; I don’t know if it’s a Jungian archetype (I know enough of Jung to be dangerous), but I can see the impulse. This is reflected in Christianity’s talk of being born again, of a new birth, etc. I’ve heard rabbis say that there’s a restart at Rosh Hashanah(the Jewish New Year). So, this is what I’m going to talk about.
After 2016 many people are like, WTF (what in the world…?) For many people this has been a hard year and it’s nice to kiss this year goodbye. In a way, we can see 2017 as a restart. The New Year is a reminder to take a timeout and assess what has gone on, where we are now, and how we shall act in the future, as it is written, “[God] was and is and is to come.”(Rev. 4:8). This is a good reason to make resolutions.
As Elif Şafak says in her book The Bastard of Istanbul, “The past influences the present, and the present sows seeds for the future.” This means that we cannot just forget about the past year, for the effects will continue. We do need to be in the present, look to where we’re going, and be aware of the consequences of our actions. We also need to recognize the impact, for good or bad, the past has on us today, and take steps to repair the damage from the bad. We need to celebrate the heroes, those with moral courage to do the right thing, and learn from their stories.
With this in mind, let us, on New Year’s take advantage of this moment for a restart, and, if we decide to make resolutions, to make them with the info from the above paragraph in mind. I actually have a few resolutions(well, I will say, most people don’t make it through January, so I reluctantly go forward): be more rational; post more blog posts (maybe twice or thrice a week); get to Level B2 in French and German (and in Arabic, B1); increase my knowledge of world religions; increase in compassion; comnect more with my diverse followers on Twitter.
I think, in a Trump administration, all this is critical. I hope for the best, but these are some of my ways of preparing for the worst. I didn’t vote for Trump, though most people I know IRL did, and I am thus willing to interact with Trumpkins. I think things can be fine, but not if we’re complacent. That’s why I have the goals I listed: these are my weapons for fighting the hate, tribalism, and intolerance sweeping the globe. I am going to do my part to make sure it’s a good year.
Let’s do what we can to make the most of this year, and, for all of you, I wish you a happy, healthy, prosperous, and safe New Year!