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Happy New Year And All That

Updated on December 31, 2019
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

Happy New Year

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Don't Expect Me To See Midnight

So, it's New Year's Eve, and there are countless posts about how people are going into the next decade with a clear heart and mind. The sentiment is absolutely lovely, but the problem is with a lot of these memes is that people will look at it, think, "that sounds nice," and share it without there being much thought behind it.

Most of us on any given day have countless things on our minds. Can we legitimately say that we're truly going from one year to the next with a "clear mind?" Conversely, there are many of us that might have any one of a number of issues troubling us, so is a "clear heart" possible?

I realize that I'm taking this post far too literally, but I think perhaps what people should be striving for is just getting through the night in as drama-free a fashion as possible. To suggest that the transition from one year to the next is done in a completely clear-minded and clear-hearted fashion is optimistic at best.

If we can safely agree to go from one day to the next in as clear away as possible and to be far more present in our daily lives than perhaps we've ever done previously, that is probably far more doable. If we can work towards moving through our lives without carrying the heaviness that is our daily troubles from one day to the next, I think that is doable as well.

If we can look at the tensions we might experience with our friends and loved ones and try to rationally find a way to bridge the gap that might exist instead of potentially ignoring the issues that might be happening, then we might be on the road to true healing. If we work towards understanding each other instead of dictating to each other how to handle any given problem, then we might have found true peace.

I know this is a long list of challenges and it might come across in a very cynical way, but I'm viewing the "clear heart and clear mind" post that has been making the social media rounds in much the same way as I view New Year's resolutions. The sentiment is nice, but the reality is iffy.

I'm usually known for being somewhat optimistic, so it does pain me somewhat to sound very dark in my belief that so many people are really not as at peace in the transition into the 20s as social media would have us believe.

I'd like to see us work towards achieving peace in our relationships with people, or at the very least how to better understand each other's perspectives instead of just attacking what we might see on social media. I'd like to see us say, "Let's support those who are truly struggling with mental illness/poverty/hunger," beyond just posting a meme or a graph calling out the statistics we've all come to see. I'd also like for us to look at a wide range of sources if we're posting an opinion about something rather than just sticking with the news article or magazine feature that might align most closely with our own beliefs. To garner true support for our opinions, we need to be able to look at both sides of any given argument and say, "this is why this side of the argument works better than the other."

It would also be great if instead of personally attacking the person who is contradicting our beliefs or opinions, we could have calm and rational discourse. Too often, particularly if politics are involved, we tend to be on the defensive with someone when they express something that doesn't jive with what we might believe or feel. Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that they are somehow an evil sort of person who needs to be publicly flogged. We can have conversations with those who we disagree with, and we can be respectful about it.

I'd like to see the next decade be the time when we can actually have polite disagreements and intelligent debate rather than arguments degrading to the point of a schoolyard scuffle. I'd like to see all of us work together for the betterment of our society rather than us feeling like the legendary "1 percent" are stomping us into obliteration.

Let's focus on being kind, and have a Happy New Year.

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