H.G. Wells plotted one of his most famous novels around it. Geoffrey Chaucer spoke eloquently about it. It is articulated in one of 2019’s finest movies, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”
We are talking about time. We are talking about the passing of another year. Yes, we’re talking about New Year’s Day.
It is a frivolous holiday for the hour before and hour after midnight. Beyond that, it is a turning point when we take an inventory of ourselves and ask what have we done for others and ourselves lately.
From the dawn of human history to the present day, philosophers and celebrities alike have ruminated about time. In the 14th century, Chaucer coined the famous declaration that time and tide wait for no man. In the 21st century, the great professional basketball player LeBron James once said the only thing he couldn’t beat is time.
Although its flow is constant, time moves fast or it moves slow, depending on the subjectivity of the individual. Time is inexorable. We can’t turn it back, we can’t halt its progress. But it will have its way with all of us.
We use time to measure progress, yet there is precious little advancement to report in 2019. The United States, the most powerful and diverse nation on Earth, is turning the clock back on race relations. Factions in the Middle East make war today, but they are repeating rivalries that existed in the Middle Ages. We strive for a greener planet but the world still depends on fossil fuels. We champion the rights of women yet we want them to be like June Cleaver and we treat them like furniture. We claim to be moving forward. But are we?
America will kiss goodbye a year that can’t leave fast enough and celebrate the optimism that 2020 promises. That, dear friends, may be the light at the end of a deep tunnel. Time is unstoppable, but it does offer the hope of a better tomorrow. Happy New Year.