Turning an optimistic eye toward 2013 ...
Updated: January 2, 2013 5:52PM
Fiscal cliffs. Mass murder. War. Unemployment. End-of-the-world scares.
Glad to see the last of 2012.
But will 2013 be any better?
We approach the new year warily. After all, it has the number 13 in it.
A lot of the old problems still loom for the new year. But we hear hopeful talk of fiscal-cliff deals, new gun laws and a drop in unemployment.
So, a guarded optimism is probably the best way to welcome in the new year.
What choice do we have, really? The river of time flows no matter what we say or do.
And though we all are buffeted by economic, political and cultural forces, they are not places we actually live. We live in our own very specific lives. And successful living requires at least some optimism.
A job, a home, enough to eat, education for our children — these are not accidents that just happen to us. We are not passive observers of our own lives. We get up every day and work hard to see that the needs of our family are met.
What has shadowed us the past few years is a somber streak running through American life that — through no fault of their own — too many of us are unable to fulfill our family’s needs.
In 2013, I hope those who have more will have a care for those who have less. We’ll need to be good neighbors in 2013, to volunteer, to support groups that help the less fortunate, to generally help out.
But that is not beyond us.
We Americans have time and time again shown ourselves to be a generous and compassionate people willing to lend a hand to those in trouble. We have aided former enemies. How much more can we help our fellow Americans, literally the people next door?
But offering a hand up is only part of what awaits us in the new year.
There is life to be lived — the closeness of family and friends, the vacations, the satisfaction of work, the school pageants, the graduations, the weddings, the good dinners, movies, laughs, books, how “Breaking Bad’’ concludes, music and, yes, even Chicago sports teams.
All these wonderful components of life, and more, are available to us in 2013.
I sincerely hope the new year turns out to be a good one for you.
And I fervently hope the new year turns out to be a good one for us all as a country and as a society.
May 2013 be a happy new year.