‘A Happy New Year’ may not be the right greeting …

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‘A Happy New Year’ it is often what we wish people without really thinking about it. Our intentions are good as we wish people well at the start of a new year. We hope that they will have happiness, prosperity, health, love, and more.

A few minutes ago I rang a friend to thank her for some jam she had given me as a Christmas present. I asked her how did she come to know that apricot jam was my favorite. To which she replied “I didn’t, but as it’s one of my favorites I know many people like it too. And I will continue to make it as long as that I am able.”

The phrase ‘as long as I am able’ struck a chord – she is 88 this year and realizes that her time for making jam is running out – and so is her time for living. As she wished me a happy new year I really wondered whether offering her the same greeting was appropriate. Can she really be hopeful of a happier, more prosperous and healthy year?

Perhaps a more suitable wish is one that involves the wellbeing of the whole family, the whole community or everyone on the planet.

 

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