I do wish you a happy new year, but I don’t see much evidence on the horizon that the situation that we face here in the United States is going to be much better next year than it is now or than it has been for the past several years. We just saw a shift in “power” in Congress, but the “powers” that operate our government are still way out of “balance”. The value of our currency continues to diminish in national and world markets. Racial and ethnic and religious prejudices trouble our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable way to reduce the level of violence and general disregard for what is lawful and “right” in our society. And the political, economic, cultural, religious, and personal attitudes that we hold are more divisive than they have ever been. We apparently have the “right” to pursue “happiness”, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on how to achieve it or really how to define it. And many of the citizens in other nations of the world are facing similar stressful, violent, and divisive situations where they live and seek to be safe and “happy”.
I would be much happier here in the United States if we could just once again all agree on what it means to be a good “American”. Some of my pessimism would be dissipated if we could demonstrate more consistently in our public and personal lives that we understand the values of what is “true” and what is “legal”. And I know that my hope for a happy new year would be increased if the merchants in our land would just reduce their constant efforts to get me to purchase “happiness” by buying more of their “stuff” and the government would stop trying to convince me that I’m going to be safer and more comfortable if I just give them more authority over my public and private life.
Are you really expecting a “happy new year” during the next twelve months? If so, what and who is going to provide it for you? What are you willing to do to provide those who are close to you and somewhat dependent upon you with a “happy new year”? Let’s talk about this.