Saturday, December 31, 2011

Turning the Page to 2012

New Year's has always been one of my favorite holidays. My first recollection of celebrating is New Year's 1963, when my big brother bet me a whole dime that I couldn't stay awake until midnight.

Never one to easily shrink from a challenge, I became ten cents richer when 1964 was ushered in.

So, perhaps "staying awake" is something of which I will want to do more in 2012...being more observant, more deliberate, more patient, more thoughtful in lending my voice to the human chorus, and more willing to take intelligent risks.

Much as been said about how horrible 2011 has been. Well, here are some wonderful things I've experienced:

In a previous post, I told about how enriched I felt when I heard Jason Poole speak at my church about "showing up and saying yes." With self-interest still being a major principle in today's world, perhaps I should ask myself what would I lose--or more importantly, gain--by "saying yes" to needs I see around me.

One treasure I'm been meaning to share with readers is a show I discovered recently on byuTV, "The Story Trek." They have a Facebook page (which I've "liked") and are mentioned on byuTV.org. I'm not a Mormon, but I count many of them among my dear old friends from Burbank High School, and am honored by their love. "The Story Trek" is a utterly heartwarming show, as host Todd Hansen goes into the heart of everyday towns, and finds "ordinary people" to tell their "extraordinary stories." In a day when television is loaded with so-called "reality shows," I find shows of this caliber so very refreshing. They've just wrapped their season finale; I can't wait to see more.

In 2011, I have continued to watch "Music and the Spoken Word," with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Fine-arts fan that I am, I look forward to each broadcast. Again, another refuge on the much maligned and abused television medium.

Even the byuTV station identification is nice: "Helping You to See the Good in the World." How uplifting is that?

Among my choices of reading material (much of which I've already shared with readers), I continue to be comforted and inspired by Spirituality & Health Magazine. The new issue (January/February) has a piece, "What Went Wrong with Wheat." Many of my friends have been discussing the gluten-free trend, and so the article was of interest. Grains have been consumed for much of human history, but the article states that we may have engineered this staple out of safe consumption. I'm sure there are those who say the jury's still out on this issue. Excuse me, but in my humble opinion, engineering is something better done when building bridges, not growing our daily bread. It's so risky on so many levels. We often talk about "playing God," and this is an example it can come back to harm us. Perhaps we humans are not ready to assume such responsibility, unless we can then deal with the consequences. This magazine continues to give me (pardon the pun) food for thought. It has something for everyone, regardless of one's religious/spiritual inclination.

Back to a smile, I look forward to the new year. Even though "New Year's" is an artificial construct, it's become a way we've come to pause, celebrate, reflect, resolve, and move forward. However you mark it--whether or not dimes are at stake--do it with joy and hope.





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