For the first time in my life, wishing others a “Happy New Year” feels weird. Maybe never before has it seemed so inappropriate, so hollow, so somehow sarcastic to make such a pronouncement. Or maybe not. I have hesitated each single time.
Last year, we thought the pandemic would be over with vaccines available. Well, turns out, this spiky little Covid bugger is more complicated than we thought. Same for human beings. Maybe we would have been better off if we had been able to vaccinate everyone, maybe that was always a pipe dream, maybe we are still underestimating this sneaky little virus. Mutation after mutation should teach all of us finally that the Theory of evolution is only a “theory” in the scientific understanding, but in everyday parlance, a fact. We are certainly getting a lesson here.
Beside that, we are looking anxiously at the effects of technology, at Putin’s attempts to bring back Russia to old glory, at Xi’s attempt to turn Communist China into the leading world power, at several bloody wars and civil wars, at democracies doubting themselves for no other reason than a lack of perfection, and, yes, something called Climate Change.
How could we possibly wish anybody a Happy New Year?
Because we have to. We don’t wish it because we are happy, or are foreseeing to be happy anytime soon. We do, because we realize that it takes us ourselves to be happy, to make others happy, and to wish for unrealistic things because that makes us get up in the morning.
Thus, albeit belatedly (sometimes, you need to think things through – this ain’t Twitter here after all): Happy New Year everyone!