Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year’s Day 2011

Another New Year, theoretically, a day arbitrarily chosen by historical characters keen on maintaining their particular sense of order. For some this day marks new beginnings, personal commitments to better health and well-being, and for the next month or so various health clubs and community centres will be stuffed full like so many dead turkeys. By the end of the month, though, or March at latest, the sands will have been sifted …. the effort will have been made and the determined will persist while the less so will have perhaps realized that dramatic changes to their lifestyles demand more devotion than a peer pressured first new day effort.

And the “spirit of Christmas,” that brief window into a quasi-socialist distribution of resources, community spirit, and extended family, will fade into the pile of jumbled memories of Christmases past. As the end of month bills arrive, attention will turn from the giving to the paying. The feeling of self satisfaction that accompanies generosity and kindness will be replaced by momentary panic. Was it all really worth it?

The freedom of quiet holiday time will transform into extended work hours, re-engaging the wheels of capitalism, catching up on time lost. The homeless and working poor will return to survival mode, thankful for a few weeks of extra food and gift-giving, too busy with their daily efforts earning rent and feeding the kids to contribute to the significant social movement for change they so desperately need. Pre and post holiday reduced sale prices will give way to shiny new and higher priced 2011 models, as capitalism demands, the perpetual cycle of transformation, mining and harvesting whatever remains of earth’s resources into ever more fun and profit … unattainable goods for those who refuse the enslavement.

For most Canadians, who know no stat holiday until Easter, these next cold months are not easy. Some lucky few will fly to regions south and enjoy a week or two of sunshine - if the heavens allow. Many others will plod through the days, reaching forward through the seemingly neverending winter, thankful at least that daylight hours are increasing. From Jesus’ alleged birth, to his murder, these months are long and painful.

So Happy Gregorian New Year. May all your dreams come true.