A New Year

Better keep yourself clean and bright: you are the window through which you must see the world.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Any moment of any day, of course, can be (and is) the start of a new year. But the tradition in  our culture is to consider January 1 a new beginning. New Year’s Day for many people comes with a list of resolutions, most of which are abandoned by January 15 or so. I suppose we party with such reckless abandon on New Year’s Eve because we know we will pay penance with our resolutions the following day. It’s like that last binge eating spree before the diet starts. 

But I think we’re all wrong in this practice. First, because I think our intentions are important to consider every day of our lives; who knows whether there will be a tomorrow? Secondly, because we set impossible goals for ourselves with these lists by trying to think in terms of a whole year. And finally, because life is happening now, not later, not even in the next hour, certainly not next week.

I want to be a mindful being for as many moments of as many days of as many years as I have left on the planet. So I won’t make a list of resolutions next week. I’ll connect in this moment (and this, and this…) to my intentions toward right action, right speech, and lovingkindness toward everyone in the new year that begins right now.


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