The past one week has been a season to be ebullient. Christmas as always, was a time of ornaments, red and green decorations, silver bells, holly, mistletoe and colored lights.
Nearly the entire Christian fraternity joined in the same spirit across the world celebrating the birth of Christ, something that brings euphoria for mankind around the world. It was a week where many got their eyes off the office desks for some days. It is often said that Christmas is no more than an orgy of consumerism and that the message of Christmas has been recklessly drowned in a mad frenzy of competitive present-buying and consumption on an almost obscene level.
Forgive the terse language but this is the sad reality of today! Shopping Malls, which are spreading out like bushfire, thanks to our investors, have created a new Christmas custom, that of obsessive shopping—and sought new attractions to have consumers in. Indeed Christmas has truly been transformed through advertisements, movies and music that have turned the holiday into a season of materialism, purchases and commercialization.
The celebration was yet another solemn celebration across the universe marking the New Year.
New Year’s Eve was celebrated in numerous ways: attending parties all night or simply by staying in a relaxed atmosphere with family and friends. To some extent many abscond taking the brews to give the start of the year a clean sheet, in doing so they believe having it so defines the entire twelve months of luck and blessings. It is one of the most celebrated dates on the world calendar.
Historically, the celebration of the New Year on January 1st is a relative phenomenon. The earliest recording of this celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, around 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures.
As it is today, people around the world have been celebrating the start of each New Year for at least four millennia beginning from December 31, the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continuing into the early hours of January 1. Common graces include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the New Year and watching fireworks displays.
All these are now over for 2014, New Year’s resolutions have been made, and everybody seems to start off the year in style.A few people have stopped setting New Year’s resolutions, that’s because previous resolutions became tedious, punitive, uninspiring and overwhelming.
Instead, many individuals have started selecting one word to encapsulate the upcoming year.
This is a practice that comes with a whole package of goal-setting and is pretty universal and tested over the period of time; the more manageable goals are, the more likely people are to actually succeed. And this is pretty intuitive: it’s a lot easier to commit to small-level change than a complete life overhaul. The whole scenario varies from one individual to the other, nevertheless; it is healthier to have realistic and practical goals.
Still, the New Year’s resolution is a kind of grand, glorified, long-term goal that people, for societal reasons, tend to begin on the first day of the calendar year. Just like beginning a new day with a few prayer items, it is equally significant to begin the year having laid targets to accomplish.
The year 2015 is a time to think about what our priorities are and where we are heading. If we have an idea where we are going, we will be able to craft a much better plan to get there. As Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, a German writer, artist, biologist and physicist once put it, “as soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live”.
These reality checks are not nearly as mind-numbing as you might make them out to be. In fact, they are a gentle reminder (mingled with some good memories) that it is time to look forward.
The New Year is filled with opportunities and it is time to move out of the old and into the new.
Therefore, there is a lot of power in setting a goal for the year as it allows you to claim who you wish to be in the world rather than grounding your worth and well-being in what you do. Yes, it is more exciting to choose a big target as a New Year’s resolution but the challenge is how to actualize the big dreams set forth.
Let us not bury ourselves under the pressure of expectations. Rather, let us look at the important aspects of our lives and allow the vision to begin to emerge. I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!
The writer is a consultant and visiting lecturer at the RDF Senior Command and Staff College, Nyakinama