Sunday, January 6, 2008

Some Stray Thoughts about New Year

"New" Year

There are very few people who do not rejoice at the birth of a new year. Even those who do not party the whole night to bring in the New Year wake up on the New Year day morning with a pleasant feeling. What is so " new" about a year? If it is a new business year, one could understand. The businesses need to review the performance over a definite period. Year is a long enough period to show some results and short enough to take corrective measures for the future if some thing has gone wrong. But then, business new years do not necessarily coincide with calendar new year. Same is the case with academics in many countries. In India, a new academic year begins in June and ends in April in the following calendar year. So, what is the significance of a New Year to us beyond business and academics?

Links in the Chain

In my opinion, the end of one year and the beginning of a new year are to Life what links are to a chain . It would be inconceivable to have a chain without links; even if it were possible, it would be monotonous just as a long road without turns. Human beings understand the passage of time better when time is divided into smaller units. Though one ages every moment , it is practical to have a unit called year. Once we have this unit called year, it has to begin at some point of time and end at some other point of time. Ending gives us either satisfaction or relief , depending on the individual experiences. But the beginning is always reassuring and promising. Another example is staircase ; one can not think of a staircase without intermittent landings. It is for rest and pause. The New Year forces us to ponder over whatever we have done or whatever happened to us over the previous one year. After all, milestones force us to introspect and possibly do some course correction.

Chance to be rid of old baggage

New Year gives us hope. It lifts one's spirits. Here is another chance to attempt. Another opportunity to achieve. Even if the past has been full of failures, one could now blame it on 'the unlucky last year' and move on with hope. Old baggage can be dumped and dead past can be shed. The sky is clear again and it would be some time before the clouds gather once more. The gap is for us to utilize.

New Year Resolutions

Oh yes, it is a good idea to make a few resolutions. But not the ones like moving the mountain. reaching the stars and emptying the ocean or even becoming the President of the United States. Leave such giant strides to super humans like Hillary and Obama. We are ordinary mortals. So,resolve to take small steps which would lead the way to measurable results. Defining the steps is an absolute must. Be it reduction of one's weight by 5 Kg in 8 weeks or saving 2o percent of one's earnings every month or any such possible goals. Vague resolutions and impossible goals will result in frustration and within two months into the new year , one will call it quits.

What if .....

...the new year turns out to be as wicked as the previous year? Do not lose heart. New Years are never in short supply. Come next January, one more chance will smile at you.

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