the new year
Another year gone by in the blink of an eye. Each year, time seems to slip by faster and faster, as if vastly accelerating each time we pass that New Year mark. And each year, I look for something new, something different. Most people make promises, resolutions that most never keep. It’s a fun accompaniment to the joy of ushering in a new year. For without a promise, what really does something new mean? As we come to the close of 2009, the end of the first decade of the 21st century, I look back and see just how horrible this past decade has been. Wars, natural disasters, economic collapse, George Bush. This past decade has been a decade of misery, pain and death. But as we turn to 2010, we wish for better times ahead. We hope that Obama will set things right, that the wars will end, that countries will commit to reducing global warming, that nuclear proliferation will decrease, that world hunger will end, that poverty will be no more, that we shall all live in a free, equal society. Sound like a bit too much?
Each year, at this time, everyone reflects on the past year with nostalgia. In hindsight, even the worst things seem to have a glimmer of good in them. What we forget is that things don’t change. People don’t change. There will always be war, death, murder, greed and poverty. There will always be people who will take advantage of others, always those who want more than others, always those who want to be better than everyone else. It’s a facet of human society. We cannot live in a classless, raceless, equal society. Humanity needs a hierarchy. And so, things will never change. Each new year will always be like the last. We promise to do better, to be better. We hope. We wish. And through the year, we forget. And when the next new year rolls around, we do it all over again. Rinse and repeat, until death.
I don’t care for the new year, just like I don’t care for birthdays. But let there be happiness, champagne, merrymaking and celebration. Let people forget the misery of the world, if just for a day. This new year will be like the rest. There will be alcohol, there will be friends, and there will be happiness. And I too will forget, for one day, that the world awaits, with its hackles up, its claws out and teeth bared. I will forget that sometimes misanthropy doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I will forget that loneliness is crippling and friends are too few and far. I will forget that home is where the heart is. I make no promises. I can’t ensure my own future three days from now. I don’t have the ability to promise anything. Not to myself, not to anyone. I will give in to this new year. For just one day. I will forget. And then the next year, I will go on like I did the last.