Onward and Upward
Last updated 12/29/2022 at 1:38pm
As the dawn of a new year approaches, it is important to pause and take stock of ourselves, and of the many mercies and comforts we enjoy. After all, “Gratitude,” Cicero said, “is not the greatest of the virtues, it is the parent of them all.”
Of course, much has been lost in our society, and even more has been changed by the passage of these last few years. But not all that undergoes a sea-change in the wake of a storm is unsalvageable; in fact, some of the most precious and useful lessons are those which we acquire through hardship. Of course, prosperity more often flowers in the teeth of struggle rather than under its auspices. Nevertheless, the new year does bring renewed hope and rejuvenated strength, if allowed.
Our ancient ancestors took note of and meticulously plotted the courses of the stars above them. This labor contextualized their struggles with failing crops and the rigor of the seasons, and made it possible to predict many events which had perplexed their forebears. Now, even though our seemingly sophisticated technology trivializes this labor, and makes such study almost irrelevant to the common man, we should not dismiss the significance of understanding our place in the cosmos.
The new year is important, and relegating this deeply significant occurrence to a mundane corner of our minds; where celebration is performed more out of habit than duty, is tantamount to conceding defeat to time and change. Mankind has mastery of many tools which allow us to understand and to predict, to process and to conquer. The new year is a commemoration of our victory over the forces which, had we less determination and willpower, would overtake and destroy us. To all of you, therefore, I say that I am thankful for you and for our nation and its continued survival in the face of fearful odds. Enjoy your new year, and manifest your strengths with gratitude, love, and kindness.
— Lucas Walsh is a Free Press Publishing editor. To reach him, email [email protected].