Happy New Year

Gloria Antypowich
Published on: January 2012
We now stand on the cusp of time between 2011 and 2012. In the news, we watched 2011 unfold through many events worldwide. Extreme weather, political unrest, regime changes, political posturing, protests, financial collapses... and the list goes on. Along with each event came images of the devastation and human suffering.

Less frequently, we saw images of humanity at its best, sincere helping hands extended in times of crisis, charity, unconditional love, generosity without expectation of recognition or return, beautiful acts of kindness to man and beast, unadulterated joy, personal achievement.

We hear about the events that make the news, but the year played out in its own way for every single individual on this planet; events just as momentous as the ones that made the news. Moments of love or loneli-ness, pain or loss, anger or joy, achievement or defeat are experienced by all of us - the ordinary people.
happy new year,worldwide

When you strip away all the external circumstances - be it wealth, fame, misfortune or po-verty- underneath it, all we are inherently the same. No matter how people around us view us, we still have the same basic needs and emotions. We all laugh, cry, love, dislike (hate is a word I choose not to use), grieve and celebrate, experience sickness and health, bleed and heal, live and ultimately die.
As the fireworks displays dazzle, and the revellers party around the world, our calendars will turn to January 1, 2012. New Year's celebrations will be different depending on social traditions of the country where each of us live and from December 31 to January 1st reality is suspended. Then we go back to the business of living our daily lives.

What will 2012 bring for the world? I am not a prophet, but I'm sure we will see political, financial and social unrest. From my humble point of view this is all part of the great cycle of life, and as individuals there is little that we can do to change that.

Nature will take its course; it is also my hum-ble opinion that this is cyclic. The great events that happen in the present, have surely happened deep in the past and will surely happen again far in the future, in another time. That is in the hands of a power far greater than ours, and there is little we can do to change that.

What will 2012 bring for us - the ordinary person? Some can ride into 2012 on the crest of the wave of success, happiness or achievement, filled with excitement and anticipation. Others will have to work their way through illness, pain, disappointment or loss, because few of us can magically shed the harsh realities that became a part of our life in the past.

But I do believe in the power of thought and the power of the mind. I have seen people who lived in circumstances that I would have shrunk from; yet they seemed content and happy. Through the years I have come to believe that happiness and contentment are a choice. I have observed people who seem to have everything you could ask for, but deep inside they are not content or truly happy. I have seen people, who live in conditions that I would consider abject poverty, but they are happy inside, their children have a smile on their face and a twinkle in their eyes. And I have to wonder who is really "rich".
My mother-in-law was a dear woman. She was born in1907 and came to Canada in 1914. Her father came from a wealthy family that was unwilling to accept his marriage to a woman who was considered beneath their status. For love, he gave up his wealth and brought his family to the wilderness in Canada. Life was hard, and her mother died young, leaving the three young children with their fa-ther in a world when the necessities of life were often scarce and the winters harsh.

After "mom" married, many things in life were still very hard. One time when we were talking, I asked her how she had dealt with those circumstances. I never forgot her answer. She told me she couldn't change her life, so she decided to be happy within herself. I can tell you, most of her life was not easy, but she was one of the most gracious, happy women I've ever met. And those words had a real impact on me.

So here is my wish to you for 2012 - no matter where you live, no matter what your circumstances, may you choose to be happy in your heart! Of course there will be moments when that happiness flees, but grab it and pull it back. Life is much easier if you choose to keep happiness within!
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