It is now 2016, and all around the world millions of people will have made their annual ‘New Year Resolutions’. Many, if not most, of these resolutions will not last the year out. It is a bit of fun, a thing we do at this time of the year. Sometimes they are serious and are treated as such by the people who make them – and maybe that’s a good thing, particularly if it leads to an enhanced lifestyle.
The slogan ‘out with the old, in with new’ seems to be rather popular at this time of year too. The new year can herald an opportunity to start over, to cancel all moral debts, to become a new person, a better person.
But can it? Can we really sweep away the old, can we really forget what has been and only look to what will be?
Our lives are shaped by the past. We are the sum of all our choices – the choices we made and which cannot be undone. When one has lived for quite a while the number of choices made through a lifetime is quite vast. We all hope that the majority of our choices through life were, indeed, the right ones. But how will we ever know?
Our memories are all we have left when the end comes. Those memories have been created by the ‘old’. There are bound to be good memories as well as not so good ones. and we understandably will file the nasty ones under ‘almost forgotten’.
Remembering good times, fabulous moments, exciting experiences is what makes us. Nostalgia is a much maligned word. Nostalgia is not a hankering after the past in my view, it is a fond remembrance of moments of our life. It is a positive recollection of good times, successes, proud moments, exhilarating experiences. What’s wrong with that? Why would would we want to sweep away our ‘old’.
If we are lucky, we still have time to make more memorable moments. The ‘new’ can be brought in without sweeping away the old.
So I will not be sweeping away the old, just bringing in the new, and trusting that they will combine to make more wonderful ‘old’ memories.