So, the number has changed again. It’s 2017 now. Let me wish a happy 2017 to those who celebrate it. May the new number brings better things and realization of hopes and dreams that have not yet been realized, and may we become better human beings creating and living in a better world.
As in the years past, I did not celebrate this change of number as it is. The reason, which I’ve already written a couple of times before in this blog, is: To me, a new year is just a change of numbers, a way of counting that has been created as a way of understanding the passing of time and making sense of our transient existence in this world.
A number has no meanings on its own. It can only be meaningful if we put it in a context or assign meanings to it. A number does not even have an existence of its own. It only exists because we created it, named it. It’s an object of our own creation.
So a calendar, as a system of time naming and counting, is inherently nothing but a set of names and numbers whose significance can only be found in its context and people who attach meanings to it. There are many such systems, though it must also be admitted the Gregorian is the most dominant and widely used today – for reasons of convenience or otherwise.
But being the most dominant and most widely used doesn’t always mean that it is necessarily the most meaningful for everyone. For me, personally, it is the most convenient to use, but meaningwise I can always use a host of different other markers of time to celebrate moments of significance in my life. That’s why I am not that jubilant about new year’s celebrations.
A new year celebration is too generic to be personally meaningful. I’d rather choose smaller moments that are of intense personal significance to celebrate in a ‘big’ way than to follow the big celebrations of the crowds with insignificant personal meanings. This not withstanding, I’d like to offer my sincere greetings of Happy New Year to those who celebrate it. May the merriment of the moment spark a reflective mood – later if not now – that will somehow roll out meanings that everyone can really celebrate in their own personal level.