After laying a big kiss on the first person handy, drunken revelers around the world will break into song tonight as their clocks ring in the New Year. The most popular tune, Auld Lang Syne, asks an important question in its very first line. Should people who’ve walked in and out of your life, and experiences of the past be forgotten, and never thought of? The song has a simple answer – no – for old times sake, think kindly on your life- the highs and the lows, friends and the foes (oy vey, I’m writing my own song. Sorry about that). At its core, Auld Lang Syne is a song about forgiveness. Through the year, we experience other new year’s celebrations in America. And interestingly enough, they have a thread of forgiveness running through them too. Here are three:
- The Lunar New Year celebrated by many Asian cultures. One Chinese tradition, according to Wikipedia, is to “reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.”
- Rosh Hashanah he Jewish New Year, is a time for reconciling, and apologies.
- NowRooz, the Persian New Year, includes among many traditions “sa’at- tahvil…a most crucial moment in the life of the family, especially with regard to forgiving past failings, putting away petty frictions that would otherwise fester into conflicts, and looking forward to more constructive relations.”
So when you put on your party hat tonight, and contemplate midnight, think about who you might want to forgive. Oh yeah, and one more thing: think lip balm! Happy New Year everyone…
Live well and love well. And STAY SAFE.