“You say goodbye and I say hello
The Beatles always had a way with words.
Simple and true, their lyrics capture the essence of the new year. Some people look forward to tossing the old year to the curb while others look to the promise of a new beginning as the clock ticks past midnight. At first read, it sounds as if everyone is on the same page: out with the old and in with the new. But there is a distinction.
Those who put an emphasis on the bad that has happened in the world, their perspective may be somewhat jaded. Those who put an emphasis on a fresh start, they may be more hopeful for things to come.
Where do you stand?
“I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
The new year brings with it an opportunity to reflect on what has happened in our lives –the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Lives were lost, and loved ones took ill. Family members and friends passed away. Innocent lives died amidst the melee of terror and war. Faces that we have come to admire on the world stage left us behind for the pearly gates.
People may have suffered personal failures, fallen short of goals, or suffered from abuse, disease, or broken relationships. Politics also ran rampant. The ugliness of presumed right and wrong divided people. Beliefs were challenged at every turn without many people listening to each other. Prejudices reigned and hate spewed. Crimes were committed, many of them violent, causing people to fear for safety in their communities.
When we look at life this way, it can seem an outright dystopia, distrust of our fellow man almost palpable. It can be too easy to give up hope surrounded by that degree of helplessness. In that vain, why not blame the year as if Father Time had a vendetta against us? Many people are doing just that.
Good riddance to a bad year!
“You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go
You say goodbye and I say hello
But we cannot let lamentable times dictate our lives. While we may have experienced cringe-worthy moments in the past year, there is always good to be found.
Some people died but many survived –cherish your loved ones. Some people took ill but many became well –keep faith in recovery. Millions of children were born –hope for a brighter future.
Charities reached out to help the poor, needy, and less fortunate. People rallied together for causes, fighting against censorship and discrimination, fighting for freedom and human rights. Technologies improved our ability to prevent and treat disease. Poverty decreased worldwide.
Now take a look at your own situation. Do you have a roof over your head? Access to food and water? Clothes on your back? Shoes on your feet? The love of family and friends? Every relationship is an opportunity to grow. We have so much when we look closer. Blessings surround us.
In modern times, we often want more than we actually need. It is okay to strive for more but, now more than ever, we need to appreciate what we have.
“I say high, you say low
You say why and I say I don’t know
You say goodbye and I say hello
This is not to say that we have to give a thumbs up to hard times. Of course not! The past can leak into the future with unintended consequences. We will address those issues when and if they arise, but until then, we have today and a dream for a better tomorrow.
An optimist looks to the new year with hope. They understand that what has happened is past, and looking back is not going to change that fact. They understand that the time has come to let go, to shift from being reactive to proactive to the world around us. Rather than rage against what we see as a personal or societal injustice or waiting for success to drop on our doorstep, we must look to our strengths and take steps that actually make a difference. Sitting back does not get the job done.
Believe it or not, it is not the old year’s fault. It is how we chose to deal with the time we had that impacted the most on our lives.
I, for one, will not be sad to say goodbye to 2016, but it is more because I see the promise of the future not only in 2017 but in the years to come. How we see the world is how it will treat us. I prefer to see the good and remember with fond memories those we have lost.
Happy New Year!