Monday, December 29, 2014

What I Like About New Year's Eve

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean south of Japan as seen from the ISS

  • It's the only holiday that's truly global. The calendar is arbitrary, sure, and there are some cultures that use different calendars. But this is one thing the entire world has a near consensus on regardless of their religion, ideology, nation of origin or economic status. For one arbitrary day on the calendar, the arbitrary lines we call 'borders' are less significant than the arbitrary lines we call 'time zones'.
  • The significance of this holiday is literally astronomical; We are celebrating a planetary orbit, not the birth of one religion's messiah or one nation's independence.  As such, it is the most inclusive holiday because it isn't just limited to one religion or one nation (or just mothers, or just veterans, etc.), it includes everyone who is stuck in the gravity well of this giant rock, which happens to include every living thing ever known to exist.
  • It's a celebration of history as alive and inexorable. The dates in history books puts all of our victories and failures in a helpful chronological timeline never to be forgotten. On New Year's Eve we get to add one more year to the history books.
  • It's a day to reflect on our mortality and personal development. It's a helpful moment to stop an remember where we were "this time last year" and wonder where we'll be "this time next year".

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