Right now you are in your fancy tuxedo waiting in the wings to make your grand entrance. It will be heralded by fireworks and champagne or apple juice, silly hats, confetti, musicians and dancers, drunken revelers, grape eaters, people in Times Square with no place to pee, hillbillies with guns, book readers, TV watchers, and fast-asleep children or adults who can’t stay up that late. I hope you’re ready. You will be met by all with great expectations. Your predecessor, the year 2016, was a steaming pile of fetid excrement, so you don’t have much to live up to. But try not to screw this up.
Try not to take away so many people who inspire us, like musicians, poets, artists, writers, entertainers, and original thinkers. We rely on great, artistic minds to bring us joy, express our collective thoughts and desires, and to soothe our troubled souls; they better us all. Please make sure to lift up science and research because only by understanding the natural world that we will be able to save the Earth and ourselves. Try to remember that peace is a tenuous and fragile thing, so we need you to be steadying and calm. Please enter the stage with an appreciation that freedoms are at risk, that truth has been beaten and bruised, and that people across the globe are suffering. Seriously, we’re a hot mess right now and we need your help.
As your days unfold, 2017, encourage us to stand up against injustice when we see it. Remind us that silence is the enemy of good. Do not let us become complacent. Do not let us give up hope. Help us be discerning. Require us to find and fight for truth. Guide us to reparation of our divided nation and world. Remind us that we are all responsible for creating a safe environment for ourselves and one another. Insist that we listen as much as we talk. Demand that we see the light in others, and make our own known. Make us quash hatred and discrimination. Urge us to live our values, not just talk about them. Above all, impress upon us daily that the only currency that multiplies itself is kindness.
When you come to us, we’ll try to live up to our part of the bargain of existence by being better than we were last year. We have 365 new days of blank canvases on which we can create something more beautiful, or, at the very least, something that mom wouldn’t be embarrassed to tack to the fridge like she was this year. We will honor your gift of time by making good use of it, by stoking the fires of our passions, by loving deeply and laughing often, by being engaged citizens, by drowning out the voices of hate, by standing up and speaking up, by exercising our freedoms, and by resisting darkness.
Please be kind, generous, and magnanimous, 2017, and we will try to be so in return.
p.s. Please make bacon healthy.