Happy New Day
By Robin Scott
“Happy New Year” is a phrase that resounds around the globe beginning at the stroke of midnight at the International Date Line and traveling around the world from there. Fireworks fill the skies over Tokyo, Shri Lanka, Moscow, Paris, London, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, and many towns in between, signifying that a new year has begun. People attend elaborate parties and lift a glass of champagne at midnight to “bring in” the New Year.
A sense of hope and possibility for a better year ahead may be the reason for all of the excitement. A feeling that the past may truly be left behind and the future is a blank slate yet to be drawn upon. As the calendar changes and the New Year begins the excitement slowly drifts away to normalcy, and by March, the newness has worn away. By June no one is even thinking about New Year resolutions or fireworks or champagne, but by Halloween the hint of the process beginning all over again emerges in conversations and store decorations.
Perhaps a real necessity exists for a date that provides a “start over.” A date when it is socially acceptable, and even expected, to try a new diet or promise to read a certain book or make plans to give more time volunteering. A date that offers an automatic stay from unfulfilled promises of the year before. If the year were never “new” again maybe no one would resolve to do anything that wasn’t already in their full schedules.
Nothing is actually new in the New Year except the date, but the merriment had around the world indicates otherwise. People of every nation have a brief reprieve from separateness and “Happy New Year” is said by all. Everyone laughs together when they mistakenly write the old date instead of the new. The revelry is even greater when a decade changes, and greater still when a new century is born. Perhaps the greatest celebrations on earth were had when the millennium changed and everyone discovered that the world was still alive and well.
Imagine what it would be like if celebrations over the change of the date occurred every morning. Would people find themselves more benevolent, tolerant and forgiving? Would it be possible to stay new forever? Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, “Happy New Day!” Take a moment to fathom the possibilities for a better world by celebrating each day with the same excitement that comes just once a year. If that feeling could be carried throughout the entire day, everyone would benefit and the chivalry would be contagious.
If every day were as important as the very first day of each year, decade, century or millennium, then the accomplishments of each day would only get surpassed by those of the following day and so on. Perhaps the best resolution is to make the first day just like any other day, but to make every day important and celebratory, and worth saying, “Happy New Day” over.