Editor: During the past few weeks, for the first time in the many years I’ve been wishing people a happy New Year, I found that cheery greeting wanting; I felt a kind of hollowness there. Wishing is OK — it’s wistful and hopeful, but at the same time it’s passive.
Almost automatically — unconsciously — I started to add to my good wishes the suggestion to do something about making it a better year. It may sound preachy but it makes sense to me. We are not magicians but we do have the power to make a difference.
There is no grandiosity in believing that we are doers—we are citizens, family members, friends and neighbors — and through the public and social media, connected to the world. There are many things we cannot change but we can and do take actions that bring on change — voting, volunteering, broadening our intellectual and emotional horizons, becoming more tolerant and respectful of others, helping people who need help, enlarging our capacities for empathy.
So I propose that as we wish our friends, relatives and even strangers a happy New Year, let’s go one step further. Let’s resolve ourselves and encourage others to be part of the solution — to do our part in making 2014 a happy New Year.
Publication Date: January 5, 2014