Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

Shazam! for the New Year

2015.12.31 - Tags:

Nothing changes on New Year’s but the date, and that only because of arbitrary accommodation of astronomy to Roman festivals, politics and bureaucratic convenience.* But no matter; arbitrary or not, it’s a good occasion for us to make some changes. A time for self-centering.

I don’t mean becoming narcissistic, unconcerned about others, but simply centering ourselves on our own needs and goals, independent of all the propaganda trying to seduce us to practices or purchases we don’t really need, or the crowds swaying us in directions we don’t even know. I mean caring about others, deeply, because we know, as Carlo Levi discovered, “The individual is not a closed entity, but rather a relationship, the center of all relations.” That is, we are who we are because of how and with whom we connect ourselves, the center of what Simmel called our “web of group affiliations.”

Being “self-centered” in this sense means reaffirming both aims and relationships. Fortunately, my relationships are good and strong, and I sincerely wish for yours to be that way too, in 2016 and beyond. And as for aims, each has to find his/her own. My  principal one for this new year is to complete the novel I’ve been thinking about for most of my adult life, and actively working on now for well over a year.

And especially, discovering and releasing the inner power to achieve those aims. Shazam!

Now I just have to find some yellow boots.

*(For how Julius Caesar settled on January 1, check out New Year’s Day in History or, if you really want detail, the Wikipedia article on the Julian Calendar.)