Consider it my end of the year gift to offer you two thoughtful posts from friends of mine this New Year's evening.
Mark Roberts offers us some lessons from Charles Dickens for a "sober celebration" (pun intended) amidst a world filled with pain and Rob Asghar has us think about how we start the New Year sets the tone for the rest of the year.
Read them both and you'll know understand immediately why it's so good to have such smart and wise friends. I'll tease you with a quote from Rob's site.
Psychologist Martin Seligman noted that there is a hierarchy of three calibers of life that people pursue. The "pleasurable life," which is a life filled with great grub and great drinks and great songs. The "good life," in which a person is connected to a circle of friends and family. And the "meaningful life," in which a person is connected in meaningful ways to something much larger than his or her immediate circle. It is a particular blessing when all three can be interwoven, but the third is the most important.
New Year's is a moment in which we can be tempted to linger with just the first and lowest form without thought to the others. But we can always do better. A friend mentioned some wise words yesterday about how the manner in which we spend new year's sets a tone for the year we'll have.
There are grim, serious legalists who want to clamp down on all fun. Then there are wild, grinding party machines who don't know restraint. Among the many paradoxes of of the quest for "the abundant life" is to discover a richer and better and meatier way that transcends these two polarities.
Happy New Year from me and my friends to you and yours.