Thursday, January 1, 2015

Letter to 2015


Dear 2015,

It’s just another day in a succession of days that rival the stars in number. But we ever hopeful human beings use it as a chance to narrow the gap between our dreams and the daily news. We resolve to never do again what we inevitably do again on January 2nd, but still the act of resolution is worthy— and sometimes actually makes a difference. Each day dawns to remind us to renew our vows or reconsider them, each day is worthy of “re-solution” to our many problems, but we need a day marked “New Year’s” to take it seriously. “We create ourselves by our choices” said Kierkegaard, and these moments of reflection are the reminders to choose wisely.

And so what do I wish for 2015? There’s all the petty personal things like lose 10 pounds and don’t go too often to Facebook and such. But if each of us 7 billion made larger vows, things like “dedicating ourselves to service, opening to beauty, caring for all creatures great and small,” there would be no need to ask for hope. I have my own little list like that, but here I want to announce my hopes for you, 2015. Of course, it’s maddeningly difficult enough to fulfill even the tiniest of personal vows, never mind ask the World to do a better job. (And by World, I mean us complicated human beings. I’ve never met a tree yet who needs convincing to be a better tree, or a rattlesnake, fly or platypus.) But by publicly proclaiming my expectations for you, 2015, perhaps it might spark others to do the same and if our hopes are aligned, I believe in the power of language and intention to start moving things in certain directions.

I’m done with “peace on earth, goodwill to men, the lion lying down with the lamb” and other such lofty fantasies. I hope never to be lowered into cynicism, but neither do I want to be naïve. I think the best I, we, you, can hope for is the slow inch-by-inch evolution of growing toward our higher nature and this seems do-able. I see it every day in my work with children, in my work with adults and occasionally in myself. So, 2015, here’s what I expect from you, a kind of Alphabet of Active Hope:

More beauty, less bombs, more care, less consumption, more democracy, less despotism. May we have more forethought and fun, less fundamentalism and fear, more gratitude and guitars, less guns and greed. more humor and humanitarianism, less horror and hate. Consider more kindness, less killing, more loving and laughing and listening and looking, less loathing and layoffs and loyalty to ludicrous lobbyists. How about more meditation and music, less murder and malevolence, more poets and less pundits, more sustainability, less slashing and smashing, more vulnerability and less vanity. Throw in more wit and wisdom and worthy work, less waste and worry and wrecking and I think we got ourselves a pretty good year ahead.

So, 2015, what do you think? Can we do this?

All the best,

Doug

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