NEW YEAR REVOLUTION by Jonathan Abotiwine

When the days ran out on the calendar

It often serves as a reminder

Of the beginning of an unending cycle of life

Everywhere around us, expectations and resolutions are rife

Kids make too much merry and very little sense of the essence of the season

Adults overthink the implications and mostly end up making plans beyond reason

We all get too much of the same message, apparently it never gets old

On the eve of the mega occasion, the sky is not spared fireworks

Churches are flooded and kitchens abused

Phone alerts are heard from far and wide

The exhilaration that accompanies the season is immeasurable

It’s been 25 years of experiencing pretty much the same thing for me

Someway, somehow, I could care less that the experience is iterative

After all, the fun and merry is never a bother

But wait, what really glues all the individual moments together?

Is it the perfunctory compulsion to start afresh in grand style?

Or could it just be too much a convention to avoid?

On the 1st of January, 2018, decided to probe my conscience

I realized a new year could mean so many things so for many people

It is no longer enough to limit the significance of the New Year to merry, pomp and ridiculous resolutions

Suffice it to say that so many people keep living the New Year the exact same way they broke up with the previous one because they don’t understand the role the past plays in informing the future

A wise man once told me; “We don’t walk by moving both feet at the same time, a foot ahead and the other remains in the previous position” that’s the way it has to be

It startles me to realize that it takes 365 days and sometimes a quarter of a day more for people to realize they’ve been doing the wrong thing

Drive around town at night in Accra, if your heart pumps blood as it should, you’ll return with a grimace as hard as the back of a palm kernel

Homelessness is a way of life of many; hunger is an ever present symptom of such people and tattered clothing is the standard dress code

Yet so many of us walk by day in and day out for as long as it takes for Christmas carols to resurface without so much as a reflective thought or gesture to alleviate the plight of our unfortunate brethren

There’s no other time of the year where ‘spirituality’ is as visible as when the new year comes knocking

Hurry let’s get to church before we miss the blessings for the year, the Chief Imam is leading prayers today, don’t you care that the gods must be receive their sacrifice in time….

‘This year will be better than the previous year’, we often hear and pray for this at the start of the year. Do we realize that there’s really no difference between the transition from December to January and that from March to April? 31st December and 1st January are just about the same as 31st March and 1st April.

Problems and challenges confront us on a daily basis. Our lives are lived on a daily basis. You and I are too familiar with the fact that the gift of life is the most gratuitous gift we have. The previous full stop of this paragraph may have just coincided with someone’s last breath. Every moment matters.

Make an impact every day, smile as much as you can and make daily resolutions. It makes us better people if we subject our lives to review on a daily basis. That New Year ‘distin’ is sickening. It’s still January friends, 2019 is far off. If you make daily resolutions, you’ll be 365 times a better person than you are now. If it takes you an entire year to make resolutions, you should probably wait till it’s 2019 to take your next breath. Happy New Year friends, oh sorry! I should be saying ‘Happy New Day’.