Editorial: New year … new possibilities
Once every 365 days or so, the calendar tells us an old year has ended and a new year has begun, though in actuality, the “new year” is nothing new at all. Time marches doggedly forward in an unbroken, possibly infinite line, and the only dilineations in that line are the ones we arbitrarily set and agree upon.
But those dilineations — imaginary though they may be — still serve a purpose, and that purpose goes far beyond merely establishing reference points that allow us to agree on what time it is, what day it is, what year it is. The mere belief that something magically changes the old into the new every Jan. 1 provides us with a kind of mental and emotional reset button, allowing us to put the past behind us and turn our attention toward what lies ahead.
But if our symbolic “reset button” is to have any effect — if the new year is to bring anything genuinely new — we must recognize that magic has nothing to do with it.
Every year, we hear people say things like, “Well, I’m sure glad that year is over. I hope the new year will be better.”
But the new year — because it really isn’t anything new — won’t be any better than the old one unless we take the steps necessary to make it better.
Some try to do this through making new year’s resolutions, but resolutions go nowhere until and unless the people who have made those resolution put legs underneath them and embark upon the journey.
So, what can we do to find those legs, to ensure 2019 is, indeed, better than 2018?
In our view, the first thing is to realize a year is made of months, which, in turn, are made of weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds. Accordingly, having a better new year depends upon making better months, weeks, days, minutes, and seconds. We might think of it like this: What we do in each moment represents a single thread in an intricate tapestry that will eventually define the year 2019.
And, in those terms, the question becomes, what kinds of threads are we going to weave into our tapestry? What positive actions can we take now to help ensure 2019 will be better than 2018?
One thing we can do is become more involved. As we noted last week, Moffat County is a tremendously giving community, but there are always needs waiting to be met.
St. Michael’s Community Kitchen, the Craig Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, the Craig Rotary Club, local hospice services, local schools, the Interfaith Food Bank, the Humane Society of Moffat County: All are in almost constant need of volunteers and/or contributions.
So, if you’re not already involved, get that way. One of the best ways to put our personal struggles in perspective is to extend a helping hand to others.
And it isn’t only organized volunteer work. We can reach out to one another in compassion and love every hour of every day. Resolve to be nicer, kinder, more understanding. Pay it forward, and engage in random acts of kindness. Hold the door for people. Smile, and say, “Good morning.” Listen to understand rather than to criticize. Look for opportunities to help others, and cheerfully seize those opportunities when they arise.
Will all this guarantee a better 2019? Well, nothing’s guaranteed, but we think it’s a great way to start.
In the final analysis, nothing is new — not the year, not the day, not ourselves.
But if we approach the “new” year as a collection of moments — moments we can spend lifting one another up rather than tearing one another down — we feel sure we’ll reach the end of 2019 saying, “Wow! What a great year.”