This is Reynold Ruslan Feldman, known to many as Ren, an 80-year veteran of this planet. Do you bring New Year’s cheer, fear, a kick in the rear, or all three? Life, I have learned, is a sandwich of many parts. We eat what we are served. And so it will be this year as in all others.
Many are talking today of a new decade, not just a new year. To be sure, we have now graduated from the 2010s to the 2020s. Yet since there was no year zero, the first year of any new decade must begin with the number 1. But who am I to argue with the newspaper—even the storied New York Times—and the TV? Well, it is the new something, that’s clear.
New day, new fate is a proverb in someone’s culture. So, by transposition, we can also say, new year (or decade), new possibilities. This year will doubtless give us numerous chances to practice wisdom or at least to make decisions that are, to a greater or lesser extent, wise rather than dumb. So, may what we pilgrims to Sancta Sophia, Holy Wisdom, choose to say or do this year be wise—that is, may the majority of our decisions prove beneficial over time to ourselves, those around us, and the widest possible context. This is how the late Dr. Jonas Salk, the discoverer of the first polio vaccine, defined the term in his 1970 non-scientific book, Survival of the Wisest. Remembering that November 2020 will also bring national elections to the United States, may we be able to elect a government that will clearly have the greatest good of the greatest number of Americans and, by implication, of the rest of the world as their primary goal. Time will tell. And this new year and/or decade, if it be that, will be nothing if not a gift of time.
May our new year and/or decade truly be Happy. Amen.