Happy New Year.
So, the festive season is coming to an end, and things are returning to normal, although I suspect many people will not yet be back to work.
I have a great ambivalence about what I call “forced jollity”, I’ve written about this elsewhere; I much prefer to chose my own terms about what and where to celebrate, and to celebrate things that mean something to me personally and to those around me. But, that aside, one of the things that makes me uncomfortable is the concept of the mid-winter festivities being the “Season of Goodwill”. That’s because I think it encourages the view that we can all continue being beastly to each other for the rest of the year, and that point is about to kick in again.
I think the world would be a better place if we all treated every day as a part of the Season of Goodwill; one of the key problems with society is that people don’t treat each other with respect. I have always believed in treating others the way you would want to be treated yourself, and I would hope that others would adopt the same approach. But, the evidence suggests too many do not; which I find odd in societies which supposedly follow doctrines which preach this kind of thing.
So, when you wish someone a Happy New Year, please make sure you mean it. You want them to be happy for the whole year, not just the rest of the day. And now we all have tools, social media, and video and audio via our smartphones, to tell the stories both of how we help create a little happiness in other people’s lives, and the effect of that happiness on the people who receive it. If you believe in New Year’s resolutions, then please make it your resolution to promote goodwill to all people every day, and to use the resources at your disposal to tell the stories of the impact of this to counter the blanket negativity the mainstream media loves to spread.