Happy New Year.
It is, I grant you, an instinctual phrase this time of year – one we say in everything from a casual interaction at the supermarket checkout counter to phone calls and in-person visits to family and friends. And I also understand that many of you are deeply worried about dangerous tides from 2016 that only seem to be swelling in the coming year. Any talk of a new year cannot escape that which preceded it.
All that being said, I am a big believer in the focus and personal renewal a new year can bring. Happiness is of course a large part luck, but not entirely. I have a host of personal resolutions, many of the usual ones of spending more quality time with family, exercising more and eating healthier. I am eager to develop some exciting new film and writing projects I have started. But I am most intent on using this time to focus on what I can accomplish, not only to make my own new year happier, but to bring more happiness to others, and the larger world.
A stanza from T.S. Eliot”s poem “Hollow Men” for me perfectly highlights the difficulty we all face turning our best motives into action.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
We live in a world full of shadows. We cannot sit passively and expect happiness or justice to come to us. I vow this year to do my part to cast aside inaction and inertia in the service of hope. To make the new year truly a happier one requires energy and ingenuity. It requires action. It is a big world with many problems. Few are easily fixable and none of us can fix any of them alone. Make resolutions to act in even small ways you can accomplish, and let us build from there. I have seen many dark times before, even far darker than our own. I also have seen what human action, following the light of righteousness and love, can accomplish.
So to all of you, my new Facebook friends, I bid you a Happy New Year with all sincerity. And let us sincerely try to do our part to make a healthier, fairer, and happier world a reality.