As we say goodbye to 2019, I can’t help but look back on the completed year and try to find something, anything, that I can take from my experiences of the last 365 days that might make the next 365 days better. I’ve always looked at a new year as a fresh beginning. An opportunity to start over. A roadside rest to catch my breath and recharge for the next leg of the journey.
There were many good things that happened in my life, like additions to our extended family, a different home, and a new business, just to name a few. However, the old saying, “Ya have to take the bad with the good” really applied to the past year.
I have been on this planet for a long time and I can’t remember seeing so much of man’s inhumanity to man as this year. The animal gallery known as our government is one of the grandest displays of dysfunctionalism I have ever seen. I have seen obstructionists before, but I don’t recall ever seeing any one member of congress or our senate admit to having one singular function and that being the removal of a sitting president like this year. Sure, we went through impeachment proceedings before during the Clinton administration, and the chaotic events during the Nixon years, but I believe the current events pale the two of those combined.
Next, we have all been touched by the opioid/addiction epidemic, but this year certainly took its toll on our family. We have lost at least three close family members as well as many friends, and family of friends to the grips of addiction. We continue to deal with even more who have managed to hang by their fingernails to life as their minute by minute, day by day struggle continues.
We have seen churches, synagogues, schools and workplaces become targets of violence and our moral integrity erode continually. I can’t recall in my lifetime seeing this much anger grip our society.
I don’t pretend to have the answers. However, several years ago, during a somewhat out of the ordinary Christmas outing we staged in a cabin with our children and grandchildren, I asked our grandchildren to tell us the Christmas story. All but a couple of them began telling me about Santa. Ever since that weekend, my wife and I have made it a point to drive by each home and give our grandkids who don’t have a way to get there, a ride to Sunday School every week. No, I don’t have the answers, but I know who does.
I don’t claim to be perfect, and I know none of us will reach perfection this side of Heaven. However, if I were to have a wish for the new year, it would be for the country to take a chill pill and stop the fighting, bickering and hatred. It’s never easy, but yes, we can disagree without declaring war on one another.
Ecclesiastes tells us there’s “nothing new under the sun.” This behavior has existed since the creation of mankind; however, that doesn’t mean that we are to just accept the fact it happens, embrace it and ignore it.
People we love are struggling. People we love and care about deeply are dying. In the overall scheme of things, are the things we are “angry” about important enough to let our worlds come crashing down? I hope not.
I don’t know about you, but in 2020, each time I clinch a fist in anger, I am going to try and make a conscious effort to open that fist and reach out to someone who needs my help. No, I’m not preaching to you, I’m just sharing some of the changes I am going to try and make in the new year. I was just kind of hoping you my try it, too. Just try and imagine how much nicer our little corner of the globe might be.
Happy New Year!
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.