This New Year is another chance to get things right.
The year that is behind us now has extended the very logic of our sense of sacrifice and our sense of hope and we are not going to permit this to keep on being dragged into the New Year.
We want something new.
We want something refreshing.
We want something salving.
It was not the easiest of the years of our life even if last year’s was memorable for what pains we can remember, and what lesson we can draw from these pains, lessons that we pray will make us stronger so that we can do things better.
Part of this resolve—the need to recast our framework of looking at life anew—is to revisit the language we use to reword the vision we have for this year and all the years to come.
The poet T. S. Eliott reminds us of this responsibility when he wrote about the need for us to begin again in a new light, in an ever-new light: ‘For last year’s words belong to last year’s language/And next year’s words await another voice./And to make an end is to make a beginning.’
So many things went wrong in 2011.
So many went right as well.
Plus or minus, in the general scheme of things, there is a deficit of realizations as there is a deficit of the good events that should have visited us and given us some sense of the good life.
Truly, we need to demand from life. And this is a new language.
Truly, we need to demand from our society, community, state, and country. And this is a new language.
Truly, we need to demand from others. And this is a new language.
But truly so, we also need to demand from ourselves so that the vision we have to turn things right might come to a realization. And this is a new language too!
For a dream is only good if gives us the energy to go on, if it moves us, if it makes us hope for the best.
So many of us have been left with only one thing at this time: hope for the morrow, hope for the better.
Given this as our only weapon to fight it out and struggle for this dream to come true, we need to hold on to what this hope can offer us, including its power to instruct us of what is just and fair, of what is good and valuable, of what makes sense.
In our resolve, we need to trust again in our abilities, in what we can do, and in what we are willing to do to pursue something grander than our puny dreams and puny selves.
Out there is a world deprived of what we have, things we sometimes dismiss.
Out there is a world that has not experienced our experience of abundance during the holidays.
Out there is another world that reminds us that our world in this country is one of luxury, excess, surplus.
Out there is another world we cannot see because we have been ensconced in a position of convenience and comfort and as a result we can no longer see the inconvenience and discomfort of others.
Out there is another world that does not look like our own—and we refuse to recognize this world: one of misery, one of wretchedness, one in dire need of redemption.
The challenge for the coming year is this: to see once again that this world, in light of the message of hope for us all, can be made a better place for the many who have less in life.
For the many who have been deprived of their basic freedoms.
For the many who have been deprived of the day-to-day expressions of the good life.
For the many who are still dreaming of the blessings of real democracy and true justice.
Happy New Year to all of you!