ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday December 30, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 31

Ring out the old and ring in the new with firm resolutions

Some years ago, Irene Abeysekera, a well-known poetess wrote a few lines which are reproduced below:

Tomorrow dawns another year
Bringing in its wake
Fresh hopes and aspirations
New horizons to view,
New tasks to fulfil
The old year had passed
And time moves on
Silently, stealthily-
What was yesteryear
Is forgotten and buried
In the distant past
But today is here
Another New Year
And there is yet a leaf
For me to turn
In life’s book.

On January 1, for many, an age-old custom will come alive – firm thoughts to bury the unpleasant past, and turn a new leaf in life’s book. New Year resolutions, to some may not appear to be important, yet there are many people who earnestly resolve to do many things, some that are considered unpleasant or difficult, and some that have eluded them for many years.

Those who knock spirits down in a big way, to keep up their spirits, and also heavy smokers who indulge in that habit against medical advice, have a golden opportunity to change their pattern of life. The dawn of a New Year is often a milestone in one’s life, where one can look back to take stock of personal and family achievements.

At midnight on December 31, each year, those who are religious minded attend places of worship on hearing the peal of bells. Whilst Theists will thank God for the protection given and their success, Buddhists will take refuge in the Buddha, the Buddha dharma and the Maha Sangha, and recite the Maha Pirith such as Ratana Sutta. Some may meditate on the impermanence of life (anichya) and resolve to cultivate Sila (morality) the foundation for righteous living. Buddhists and Hindus will take joy when they release cattle from the slaughter house and strive to gain more merit and mental satisfaction that lives have been spared from the butcher’s knife.

As someone once said, time and life is short-lived. Let us with the New Year ring out the old and ring in the new, with firm resolutions to guide us.

By Upali Salgado, Colombo 3

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