Another year is almost over and as we sit on the precipice of the next many of you will be pondering the value of making of New Year’s Resolutions and some of you may have already made some. I was wondering about the origins of the New Year’s Resolution today and found that it is believed to have developed both in Christian and Jewish faiths as a time when one reflects on the passing year and what one was prepared to do in order to improve their devotion to God. I was in some ways surprised at this and in other ways not as this is indeed a very religious time of year with Christmas and Chanukah featuring in the calendar for a good many worldwide. In my search I also found that the 1st of January was not the start of the year for many of the different countries of the world with the majority adopting this between 1522 and 1752. It was until as late as 1752 many started the New Year around Easter or March 25th which seems such a foreign concept after all how can a New Year start in the middle of a month? I have also learnt that the 1st of January is for some also a Religious Holiday for it was the day the baby Jesus was christened and given his name.
How much thought do we give to the passing year as individuals? The media is always certain to give us the highs and lows of the year both in pictorials and headlines. I was reading a newspaper a few days ago and it showcased the notable deaths of 2011 and it is interesting to see what a varied list it was. Those making mention being of such varied backgrounds; Writers, Actors, Film-makers, Artists, Musicians, Sportsmen, Capitalists, Human Rights Campaigners, Politicians, a former First Lady, International Terrorists and Leaders/Dictators. The same publication had pictorials covering fewer topics; a Royal Wedding, War, Riots and the Grand National – I must add this was a British Newspaper so perhaps its reader bias led to these topics being placed as notable events of 2011.
What are your reflections on 2011? For me I would have to say being present in Christchurch, New Zealand as significant Earthquakes struck on February 22nd and December 23rd will be etched on my memory for many years to come. The effect on the lives of residents there will be far reaching for many more and work on rebuilding the city is yet to commence. The devastation in Japan that followed little more than a week after February 22nd was of biblical proportions and will also be hard to erase from memory. Instability in the European Union remains a topic I reflect on and wonder on its future looking forward. Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria were and are significant developments the world continues to watch as well as the Occupy Wall Street protests that have taken place throughout the world. 2011 has definitely been about change and about individuals standing together in opposition of oppression and/or greed. Thankfully 2011 was not all about international disasters or uprisings for me personally it was about taking steps in life I would not have believed possible in 2010. I achieved my goal of Home Ownership, commenced the publishing of my very own website/blog, made many new friends and was able to be with my family in times of need.
As I look forward to 2012, like many I am positive about the future for myself and my fellow man. We have greater faith in our ability to stand up and be counted on the political front. We are more aware of the compassion and community spirit that abounds in times of need. We are also aware that the past does not dictate our future we have the ability to change, to learn and to grow from our experiences as human beings.
I would like to wish everyone a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year and for those of you making New Year’s Resolutions I wish you well in achieving your goals for 2012. I would also like to thank you for your support and encouragement in 2011 and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.