New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time of hope for the future as gym memberships skyrocket along with nicotine patches and Canadians across the land set out resolute and determined to make positive changes in their lives.
Looking ahead to the year 2023 there are some signs that hope might take root by spring. Ukraine and Russia have signalled a willingness to sit down at a table to chart a course to peace. The horseman of the pandemic may still trot among us but appears to now be manageable enough that restrictions have eased dramatically since the start of 2022.
With 2022 having arrived over the horizon with the four horsemen threatening to descend upon us all in full gallop, the disasters that plagued the globe in the past year have at least slowed to a cantor, if not a trot. Time will, as always, tell.
But now is the time for resolute decision. New Year’s Day may be a simple human construct; it’s not even one of those solstices marking the end or beginning of seasons, but it is a marker of hope nonetheless. Don’t let reversionistic cynicism cloud your horizon. True, many gym memberships lapse as they sink beneath February’s doldrums but face this new year with determination and let positive resolution be your guide.
There are those who will seek to harness the despair and anger that has simmered through the trials of the past few years to further their own designs. Look to the future with clear eyes and judge past grievances with the balance of hindsight.
Grand gestures tend to be the stuff of great intention and the preferred tool of politicians and demagogues in all walks of life, but it is the cumulative impact of a thousand tiny acts of kindness that can truly change the course of our lives.
These past few years have caused too many rifts within our society, our communities and our families. Make 2023 the year of extending a hand of reconciliation and building bridges across those rifts. As Canadians, we have always had those forces that have worked to pull us apart, but as hardy Northerners we have learned that, despite our many differences, we are stronger and better when we stand together to face the future. It is what has made us a nation that is the envy of the world.
We, as a nation, have much to be thankful for as we greet the New Year. Our greatest strength lies within our tolerance, our compassion and our willingness to set aside differences in order to work for the greater good of all. So, as our nation emerges from its pandemic chrysalis, let us greet those friends and neighbours whose ideas diverge from our own with best wishes for the future and a hearty “Happy New Year.”