Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hopes -- and a Suggestion -- for the New Year, 2009

New Year's resolutions have never been my style. I instinctively mistrust any decision that is motivated by a change in calendars. However, I am prone to spend the last hours of any year giving some time to reflection on what is past, and on empowering good things for the year to come.

It seems 2008 was a kicker for most everyone, so I cannot say mine was particularly tough. But mine was a year packed with change, some of which was delish, and some of which was hellish. Some friends had it far tougher than I, so I'm not complaining. Still, I cannot say I will regret letting the year slip into the past.

My hopes for 2009 are many, but here are a few:

  • That the worldwide financial crisis will inspire people, companies and nations to re-think the way they do things.
  • That the United States will resign from its self-appointed role as the world's cop, especially when its own moral house is in such disorder.
  • That the professional theatre (musical and otherwise) will survive this rough time and rediscover that talent and wit matter more than money or hydraulics.
  • That contemporary rock and rap music will go back to hell and disappear from the musical stage (yeah, I know -- about as likely as AIDS and cancer spontaneously disappearing from the planet).
  • That the purveyors of political hate draped in the trappings of religion will drown in their hypocrisy, and that voters will realize that denying rights to anyone endangers the rights of all.
  • That America will give it's new president time to get a handle on the chaos it took Bush and his crew eight long years to create and deepen.
  • That Broadway will get a glorious, tuneful ad totally new musical that audiences will still love when it is revived 60 years from now.
  • That your greatest hope for the new year will be fulfilled, and that all of us will know love, health and prosperity.

And along with all the hopes, here's a suggestion: get this new year off to a good karmic start by committing at least one act of spontaneous kindness. Hold a door for a stranger, throw an extra dollar onto a tip, give a harried salesperson a sincere compliment -- whatever comes your way. Not everyone can be nice all of the time, but none of us can do it too often either.
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