A few days have passed and a brand new year awaits.
Hope springs every time we close a year on the calendar and as the clock strikes midnight, start afresh amidst much cheer and optimism for most of us. What is it about humans that we need to re-invent, experience anew or create ways to present to ourselves that which could be just another day, but now drenched with expectation and carrying clothes of names and dates from memory, a birthday, a marriage anniversary, a new year.
We mark days. We mark places, when a loved one passes away or a new member is born. A festival, a completion, a beginning, we attach significance, we call it culture. We call it personal memorabilia, as Geertz (1973) said, we weave “webs of significance” to suspend ourselves in.
Significance is what the human mind is wired to produce. It comes about through its quest for meaning (Lancaster, 2011). Reflecting on the contents of consciousness, self thrives on meaning, builds upon to create an identity, its defense against all things mortal, perishing and fleeting. A defense against the rust of passing time.
And so it is with every new year, although a year passed and may have been completely lost or somehow salvaged with the current pandemic and a long list of losses - material, non-material, lives. The clock moved, and magically hope was sown, that next one will bring happiness and better circumstances. And so be it.
Much awaited may the new year 2022, bring health, harmony, peace and understanding of our fragile existence, our planet and fellow creatures, the ecology and all that sustains us. May we have the intelligence to move to preserve that which we claim as ours, on Earth. May it be a truly Happy year for all.
Lancaster, B. L. (2011). Mind, brain & human potential: The quest for an understanding of self. E-edition (original: Shaftesbury, Dorset & Rockport, Massachusetts: Element, 1991).