Of all the holiday cartoons that have appeared on our television screen over the past month, I have to say the worst was Rudolph’s Shiny New Year. Ben Franklin? A troll? A baby new year with huge ears? Hmm.
I never liked that one, even as a child. The whole thing seemed confusing and random and even a little scary. It’s not just me, either. My kids stopped watching halfway through and decided that playing in the snow sounded much more fun.
Now that I think about it, though, maybe all that scariness was intended. Maybe Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass wanted a cartoon about New Year’s to be random and confusing. Because that’s what they often are.
There are many people who will go out tonight to say goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011 in style. They’ll drink and carouse and laugh and kiss. To many, it’s a starting over and a chance to set things right. I’ll do better this year, they say. This year, things will be different.
For others, all that partying is designed to postpone the inevitable. I have a friend who goes out every New Years Eve and gets absolutely plastered. Saying hello to 2011 is the furthest thing from in his mind. To him, the thought of 365 days clouded in uncertainty scares him to the point where he can only face it in an alcoholic fog.
Sad, yes. But I understand.
Perhaps it’s this day more than any other that reminds us of the steady pace of time. It grinds on, and we can either walk alongside it or be dragged behind.
We can see our days as blessings or punishments. We can see the clean slate before us as a desert that will consume us, or we can see it as fertile ground to plant an abundant crop.
This New Year’s Eve, I wish for you the same that I wish for my friend, and it is this:
Eyes to see the latter rather than the former.