New Year’s Eve

2012 is almost over! I can hardly believe it. Tomorrow will usher in 2013, with all its brave new hopes and aspirations. The clean slate of a brand new year inspires many to make New Year resolutions, some of which are adhered to, but many of which fall by the wayside.

As a child, I used to come up with a long list of New Year resolutions, which I attempted to keep as best I could . . . uh, possibly for the best part of a month. That was how long my resolutions lasted! Then, as a young adult, I decided I should be less ambitious, and made a short list of five resolutions instead. This time, I probably kept them for a couple of months. Now, in middle age, I have forsaken the making of any resolutions, since I know that I am simply setting myself up for a fall.

Like everyone else, I have hopes and dreams for myself, my loved ones, and the world. These may or may not be the same hopes and dreams that I have embraced throughout the many decades of my life, for as I move along life’s pathways, I find them changing according to need and circumstance. However, my prayers in 2012 may well be exactly reflected in my devotions in 2013 – since what has been important to me in 2012 are also equally significant to me in the coming year. In fact, I think I might add more to my prayer list in 2013.

Nonetheless, the turn of the year always carries for me opportunities for being optimistic as I look ahead. I so want the world economy to improve, particularly in those countries where ordinary people have really suffered. I so wish for peace between factions, especially where the exercise of terror or violence have hurt, maimed or killed innocent individuals, families and communities. I look at the world, and consider how we have mistreated the environment and its inhabitants mostly out of commercial greed; and pray that as fellow citizens of this Earth, we will all learn to be kinder to each other, the land, and the animal kingdom. These are just a few of the things that I am concerned about.

New Year’s Eve in much of the Western world seems to be the time for partying and much celebration. It seems to be the time for letting go of the old and of welcoming in the new. Perhaps this is why people out on the tiles do it in such a big way.

But I think that New Year’s Eve should also include a time of quiet reflection. As we see out the old year and see in the new, it might perhaps be a good idea to take stock of who we are and what we are. We need not be big or important personalities; but can we, in our own little ways, be of help or inspiration to anyone who might benefit from something we might do or say? And, within the animal world, could we be ambassadors of hope to unloved creatures, both domestic and wild?

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