As we come to the close of 2021, the question each of us faces is whether we are ready to enter a new year.
We can simply function as if engaging 2022 will be like all the other years of the past, or we can prepare ourselves emotionally, intellectually, socio-politically and spiritually for what may in fact be the “fundamentally new.”
I do not believe 2022 will be the same as it has always been. The signs are that radical changes are on the horizon. We have a new COVID-19 variant to deal with. And while many act as if it is no big deal, people are getting sick and dying every day.
Everyone I know is struggling financially. The ranks of the working poor are growing day by day. Food challenges are all around us.
And quite frankly, there is a constant cloud of “the blues” that hangs over the heads of our society. Will violence increase in our cities and schools? Will health and physical well-being be a reality in our lives? All these things and more make us think about how we shall prepare for 2022.
A tradition in my family is that the 2nd of January is “throw away day.” We inventory and then throw out those things that we do not need.
We all need to throw away some old things that thwart our progress. We need to throw away old biases and prejudices that have hampered our growth.
Old attitudes of division and superiority need to go to the trash pile. Our self-centeredness and anger must go if we are to experience the new possibilities 2022 will present.
While I am not trying to meddle, I posit that all of us have some habits that need to go. I leave your list with you.
There are some things we also need to acquire. As a society we need a fresh spirit of unity and concern for the common good. I believe in the power of spiritual renewal.
I am tired of religious communities that focus on the worst in us instead of uplifting what is good and of excellence in the human experience. I suggest adding a spiritual component that reaffirms our humanity and our connectedness. We need a faith that reminds us that “I am because we are.”
My father use to proclaim on a regular basis that “preparation is the first step toward success.” When I was young, I thought that was silly motto to live by. But now that I am older, I am a witness that some of the worst mistakes of my life happened because I was unprepared to claim the moment.
Like you, I want my latter days to be better than my former days. If we prepare our minds, hearts, bodies and souls for the wonderful things that await us in the new year, we shall be part of something fantastic, something fundamentally new.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.