Now that we’ve all successfully boarded, and as some of you are still trying to find your seats or jam that overstuffed duffel bag in the overhead bin (I would have checked it), let me share three simple three words as we embark on this flight called 2022 . . .
. . . Please be better.
Realize I’m not talking about any one of you in particular; rather, I’m talking about the year itself. I’m asking, pleading, begging for it to be better than those immediately preceding it. Just like you, I know a “year” is nothing more than a number. I get that, and as such, it lacks the ability to be better or worse than any of its forebears. It’s an intangible, an idea someone long ago made up to mark time. And for purposes of this discussion, I’ve given it “tangibility,” simply for the purpose of making it real enough to allow me to click my proverbial heels and wish upon it (kind of like Dorothy did in that movie a bunch of years ago).
“Please be better … Please be better … Please be better.”
And wish I have, both to myself and to others over the past few days.
For instance, on New Year’s Day I was on a walk and passed someone who was unloading groceries from his car. “Good morning and Happy New Year!” he shouted. I waved, wished him the same and followed up with, “Things have to start getting better sometime, right?” We both laughed at my little joke and went on our respective ways.
But all joking aside, isn’t it true? Things must get better on so many levels for us – as a collective – to have a good year.
Before you judge me as some gloom and doom Eeyore who’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop, let me qualify. I have a good life, and I’m grateful to have health, a loving family, work I enjoy, and the resources to get what I need.
I’ve also had many great experiences, and some good fortune, happen upon my in recent years, and so have my family and friends. In short, to use a dusty old response to the question, “How you doin’?” Well, “I can’t complain.”
And I’m not. In my own little world, things are good, save for a knee that acts up now and again, my snoring the constant fear that I’m going to forget to shut off the oven before I leave the house. I’m just hoping and expecting that over time (and hopefully sometime between takeoff and touchdown of Flight 2022), we start to realize some improvement in the things that matter, not only to us as individuals, but to the stuff that impacts the bigger picture. I won’t go into details; we all know what they are, even if we don’t always want to admit or discuss them.
I’m a slow starter when it comes to the new year, and I’ve always been that way. Some people jump in on January 1 with a flurry of activities, goals and a supernatural level of energy. For me, it usually takes a couple of weeks to ease into it all. Then, I get settled and cruise through the year. Again, life on a daily basis is good for me, so why change, right?
But this year, I can’t help thinking about how I can make 2022 better than ’21, or ’20 or ’19. What can I do not only for me, but more importantly, for others and the bigger picture? How can I bring a smile to someone’s face, ease another’s pain, contribute to a cause, or to have productive, meaningful discussions with others that might just start a bigger conversation; one that could create positive change on a larger scale?
I’m not deluded. I know my power to successfully land this plane is limited. But now that we’re all seated on the same flight, now that we’ve successfully taken off and the flight attendants have given us their pre-flight instructions, maybe we can spend some time working toward where we want to be when this flight lands and we deplane at the conclusion of Flight 2022.
Happy New Year. Please be better.
© 2022 David R. Haznaw