Why is it that on the eve of every New Year, we sit down and start to ponder on what will be our resolutions? What is it that I am going to do to improve myself, improve my relationships, and improve my life? Every year without fail I come up with at least one or two, and sometimes I even keep them.
Maybe it's because it is a new year, a new beginning, a time where our habits of the past do not dictate our future. Or maybe it's because we just want to be better people, better friends, husbands, wife, and kids, whatever. In truth we all face these choices everyday, but on this dawn of the New Year It gives us a chance to stop and contemplate a little bit longer on the choices that face us.
The final seconds of 2016 race past on their endless march into history. The clock counts down, three, two, one, and we cheer as we embrace what may come next. In that instant the New Year comes to be, and the old becomes the past. And as it does I look ahead to see the many roads on which I can travel onward with my life, starting with my next step, the first of 2017.
As I hesitate for a moment, I think back on the year that was and can’t help but wonder what would have been if I had taken a different path. What would have happened if I made different choices? I know, it's silly to spend too much time on what could have been, but it's also human.
When you are young, there seems to be so many endless possibilities, the world is opened before us, ours for the taking. We never really stopped to think about the why; we just fearlessly put one foot in front of the other.
But over time, as I have traveled further on in life, I've started to think that my choices are slowly being narrowed. Each choice funneling me on a certain heading, almost as if life had placed guard rails on my path, restricting me to a certain direction, a certain road, a certain life.
But life's tunnel vision is stopping us from seeing that our choices are still plentiful, if not different. Many of those choices could still happen, if we but have the will to plant our foot firmly and fearlessly in its direction.
With every step we must choose. Left or right, forward or back, kindness or indifference, love or hate. Everyday we make hundreds of these choices. And each of those choices become part of who we are. Each one adds to our journey through life.
And in the same way, every person we meet changes us in little ways, as we do the same for them. Each has an influence upon us, a teacher, a friend, or the stranger who wishes you good morning, these too become part of who we are. They are the many people who help course correct us, or some times lead us astray.
Think about how much better 2017 could be if when we see a wrong, we try to right it. When we see someone in need, we try to help. When someone lashes out at us with hate, we answer with love. When we see someone alone, we hug them and tell them how glad we are that they are in our lives.
I know this is not easy; this is hard and takes courage. And I know I for one will fail more times then not. But in those failures will be a chance to learn, a chance to make a better choice, a better decision, a bold step forward.
Personally I will try to remember that those around me will go forward with a little part of me in them. It's totally up to me whether what they take is negative, or hopefully, positive.
We pave our road through life one step, one decision, at a time. As I move forward I will try to take that proverbial path less traveled, give freely of myself, live my life fully, and love with all my heart.
My friends discover a part of you that's been waiting to be free. Be bold. Lean on each other. Have courage. This is my New Years wish for you.
May you all have a very happy, prosperous, and healthy 2017? And may love be your companion on your road through life.