End of Year

Why did it take me so long to learn that every day is important? Maybe seeing men my age fall into poor health is now the catalyst for appreciating every breath, every sunset, every kiss, and every kitten.

I want the new year to be as full as possible with times of laughter; and when grief comes, I want it to be shared with loved ones and friends. It’s what this world and this life is all about. Community rather than individuality. The communal instead of the private.

A recent newscast paid tribute to well-known men and women who died during the past twelve months. Many I knew, and many names I’d not heard of. Each of them had made a contribution in some field of endeavor, and so it was right to honor them. But I wondered during the program about the criteria we set in our culture to determine the importance and value of human life. Several of these celebrities, political leaders, athletes, and artists made a contribution to the world far beyond their area of expertise, and that is commendable. But I think of the people we meet every day whose lives are just as important in the larger scheme of things: the teachers, our military, our doctors and nurses, the trash collector, the busy housewife or househusband, and the list could go on and on.

And so I return to the question of each day. What difference did I make in 2018, and what am I planning to do in the coming twelve months to make sure every day counts? Because the older I get, the more I realize how fragile life is and how much I am responsible for the choices I make each day to leave my mark on the lives of those around me.