New Year's Reflection
that the winter holidays
are over, most of us can finally take a moment to slow down.
The arrival of cold weather affords us some quiet
time, which can be used for personal reflection. For some of us,
this is kicked-off by resolutions we make on New Year's Day
that are meant to change us for the better. Unfortunately, such
resolutions rarely last more than a week or two.
Prior to the New Year, Christmas carols
and holiday giving remind us of the virtues of generosity and good
will toward others. We tend to smile more. Pleasant greetings and
thoughtful gestures become more spontaneous. We find ourselves focusing
on friends and family with feelings of nostalgia. On television,
the past comes to life with morality tales, renditions first penned
by Charles Dickens. All in all, warm feelings defy the growing
Over the years, however, some of our responses
tend to become routine, especially when caught up in the bustle
of commercialized distractions.
With that in mind, I want to remind people of
the importance of personal reflection. With every
passing year, more and more hand-held technology demands more and
more of our attention. Ads and commercials dominate the holidays
to the point of oppression. Many of us get trapped in the flow,
unmindful of the consequences.
The truth is, our time for reflection is being
whittled away like never before and we have no idea how that
affects our well-being. After all, the awareness of our own thoughts
and feelings and motivations, which we refer to as personal reflection,
is what makes us human. If we sacrifice a significant amount of
that, what do we become?
A good, belated New Year's resolution might be
to take time to escape media technology on a regular basis
quiet moments to just sit and think, or experience the simplicity
of nature, or go to a restaurant with friends or family while leaving
the cell phone in the car. Play a game that is not computer related.
When you are with people, appreciate them with your undivided attention.
might also want to take a moment to meditate on the meaning of holidays,
apart from their commercialized exploitations. Special days on the
calendar were meant to have more meaning than just a day off from
work, or blow-out sales. Presidents Day and Martin Luther
King Day, for two examples, were meant to remind us of extraordinary
individuals whose stories can inspire the best in us all. Memorial
Day and Veterans Day remind us of those who served our
country, both dead and alive. The Fourth of July commemorates
the formation of a government based on extraordinary ideals that
we would do well to recognize before lighting the grill. There are
cultural meanings attached to all our holidays, worthy of reflection.
is a good thing. Never doubt that. If we do not move forward, we
fall behind. In the midst of progress, however, it is important
to preserve what is meaningful and healthy to us all.