The next and final stop on the festive roller-coaster is the New Year. Amid the traditional parties, celebrations and singing of Auld Land Syne, most of us will also find time to make some plans for the year ahead, perhaps including promises or resolutions to ourselves or others.
In thinking forward to the next year, we of course review the year that has gone – both what went well, and not so well.
Earlier in the year I heard the progressive liberal Rabbi Pete Tobias give a short Yom Kippur talk on the radio. Yom Kippur is typically a time of looking back and also often referred to as The Day of Atonement: atonement meaning righting wrongs, making amends, putting things right, reflection, reconciliation, restitution and reparation.
I thought his words were probably apt for us all.
Let us ask ourselves hard questions – for this is the time for truth
How much time did we waste in the year that is now gone ?
Did we fill our days with life, or were they dull and empty ?
Was there love inside our home, or was the affectionate word left unsaid ?
Was there a real companionship with our children, or was there a living together, but growing apart ?
Were we a help to our partner, or did we take them for granted ?
How was it with our friends, were we there when they needed us, or not ?
The kind deed – did we perform it, or postpone it ?
The unnecessary jibe – did we say it or hold it back ?
Did we live by false values – did we deceive others, did we deceive ourselves ?
Were we sensitive to the rights and feelings of those who worked for us ?
Did we acquire only possessions – or did we acquire new insight as well ?
Did we fear what the crowd would say, and keep quiet when we should have spoken out ?
Did we mind only our own business, or did we feel the heartbreak of others ?
Did we live right, and if not have we learned . . . and will we change ?
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.
Photo by Jebulon, via Wikipedia