It is the new year. The old has past, the new has come.
Today is the day we decide intentionally and collectively to move forward, be better and accomplish much. Today is the day we intentionally and collectively embrace the future. Even when it is hard. Even when it is unknown. Even when we don’t want to.
I hesitate to write New Year’s Resolutions. In truth, much of this blog is a an ongoing resolution to improve myself and my world as the process allows it. I hesitate to make sweeping statements about the state of our world, I hesitate to attempt to demystify the times we live in, or expose the hopes and dreams I have for the future. I believe that there is a reverence that comes on a day like this when we allow a shift to happen in our minds and the focus becomes the future.
Two short writings have hit my heart as I read the reflections of authors and sages ending 2012 and beginning 2013. The first I share here from author Neil Gaiman:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
The next is a little longer from Shane Claiborne:
Each year I remix some of my hopes and dreams for the new year, bringing some from last year and adding a few new ones. Here’s the latest remix:
13 Hopes for 2013
1. Do for one person what I wish that I could do for everyone, but can’t.
2. Practice resurrection. Make ugly things beautiful and bring dead things back to life. Paint a new mural in our neighborhood. And make some cool stuff out of trash. Look for God in the unlikely places.
3. Interrupt death. Do something regularly to interrupt the patterns of violence, bullying, war, capital punishment and other mean and ugly things. Maybe we can see another few states in the US abolish the death penalty in
4. Give more money away than I keep. And do it in a way that takes away the power of money and celebrates the power of love.
5. Write letters and notes to people, letting them know I am thankful for them. Write a note asking for forgiveness from someone I need to ask to forgive me.
6. Do something really nice – that no one sees or knows about.
7. Compliment someone I have a hard time complimenting… and mean it.
8. Pause before every potential crisis and ask: “Will this matter in 5 years?”
9. Get outdoors often. And enjoy things like fireflies and shooting stars. Take someone to the beach or the mountains for their first time. And regularly get my hands into the garden… so when I type on the computer I can see dirt under my fingernails.
10. . Learn a skill – like welding – and use it for something redemptive, like turning a machine gun into a farm tool.
11. Rather than emphasizing the best of myself and finding the worst in others – let me work on the worst in myself and look for the best in others.
12. Be aware – and beware — of blessings. Do something to abstain, fast, or delay gratification. And do something to indulge in a gift of God. Then do
something to end inequality and move the world toward God’s dream for every person to have “this day our daily bread”.
13. Believe in miracles. And live in a way that might necessitate one.