There’s something quite special about the beginning of a brand-new year. It’s a point of progress in humanity’s journey on this planet and another unspotted new leaf in the Book of Life bearing our individual names.
Customarily New Year’s Day is a time for resolve for making resolutions concerning our future behavior – setting new goals or renewing our determination to pursue old, neglected ones.
Perhaps this says a great deal about human nature that we should select one particular day of the year for personal stocktaking. A really well-run life, it would seem, should carry on a perpetual self-inventory.
So, too, it is human nature to sometimes forget those fresh promises. The new year quickly becomes just another year, and the old familiar ruts become deeper and more comfortable.
This is not to discount the value and importance of well-thought-out resolutions. This nation was founded upon a number of idealistic resolutions two centuries ago by men who fought for freedom and then laid down a blueprint to enlarge and preserve it.
The resolutions of those Founding Fathers are our heritage. If we have failed in keeping some of them, we have succeeded well in others.
In our stock-taking of the past year, we must admit that 1976 has had its moments – its gains… as well as its losses. There are things we’d like to forget as a nation… and maybe as individuals. But there has been much that is constructive and steps taken to solve some of the problems that plague the nation. Others remain, with solutions still needed.
In a very short time a new administration take over the custodianship of our American government with a set of resolutions of its own which its leaders have laid before the people.
As for us the individual Americans, we need to make one resolution collectively as we move ahead in our third century:
Resolved, that we will think and act responsibly as free men and women in 1977 and in the years to come, so that the precious torch of freedom which is in our keeping may be passed on to succeeding generations with pride and honor.