Monday, December 31, 2012


Ah, New Years Eve. I never really was much one for partying on this particular day. Maybe it’s because by the time I hit drinking age I was already working at a movie theater and typically found myself ringing in the new year by locking up concession stands and covering up reel platters for the night. Or maybe I’ve just always been boring. Who knows? As for this year, well, thanks to the drowsiness inducing meds for my son’s Aspergers and my wife’s heart condition, there’s a 50/50 chance by the time midnight rolls around I’ll be watching the ball drop with as much human company as this poor schlub…

Oh well, despite all of the technical glitches, at least Marvin finally got his cup of kindness in the end. You know, like in the lyrics to that ubiquitous theme of New Years Eve, Auld Lang Syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And so on and so forth. I’m sure you know how it goes, more or less. Actually, being first written down in old Scottish by Robert Burns in 1788, “For Auld Lang Syne” has had a number of interpretations into modern dialect. However, the one considered to be closest in sentiment to the original meaning is “for the sake of old times.” So it would seem that the song is asking us to raise our cups in honor of those who aren’t with us and remember them with kindness. Which seems a bit of a melancholy note to usher in a new year doesn’t it?

But there’s something about that “yet” which hangs at the end of some of the verses that, for me at least, changes the focus a little. With that “yet” in there, Auld Lang Syne actually takes on a tinge of hope. We may have experienced some loss over the past year, but we’ll have our cup of kindness yet. Yet! It’s as Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed a few days ago during the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve, “Christ’s birth is a flowering of new life for all humanity. May every land become a good earth which receives and brings forth kindness and truth, justice and peace. Happy Christmas to all of you!”

I wish each and every one of you a Happy and Blessed New Year and may you all find your cup of kindness in the months to come.

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