Another January 1st. Another New Year. Another “beginning”.
Except, of course, that it’s not. Well, it does signal the start of another new calendar year. That’s true enough. We have another brand new batch of days, 365 of them, each ending in “2013”, which makes them a little different than the 365 days we just stumbled through, all of which ended in “2012”.
But today, I think, isn’t going to be too much different than yesterday. Is it? It’s still cold and snowy outside my window, the sun isn’t likely to break through the clouds and warm things up, and tomorrow – well tomorrow will be tomorrow regardless of the calendar year. I don’t think today or tomorrow care very much what year gets attached to them. That’s all kind of arbitrary anyway.
But people seem to like to think that it matters. Which of course is OK. If a million or so people want to stand out in the cold in Times Square and watch a ball filled with a zillion lights slide down a pole just before midnight, who am I to say that they’re being foolish? If they want to think that the slate is somehow “clean” and the world is “new” just because the clock ticked past midnight on December 31st, so what? And if millions of others want to make resolutions about what they’re going to do differently in the new year, then more power to them.
Heaven knows we could use a reason for a little optimism. Even if it’s just another day disguised as a “New Year”. If everybody bought in, maybe the guys in Washington could all start getting along and get something done. Maybe the Arabs and Israelis would stop killing each other. Maybe all the religions of the world would finally realize that they’re not all that different. Maybe the NRA would stop telling me that I should have a large gun in my closet (or two or three or more). Maybe, maybe, maybe…………
Yes, a blank slate would be good. It would be nice to begin again. Happy New Year.